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The Deteriorating Fiscal Situation and an Aging Population

In: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan

  • Robert Dekle

Japan's deteriorating fiscal situation has attracted international attention. I assess what current Japanese government policies mean for the future of public debt and the economy in general, given the inevitable aging of the population. I review how Japan got into this current fiscal mess, and then perform an analysis of some debt dynamics. With unchanged fiscal policies, Japan's public debt will rise to between 260% and 380% of GDP in 2030, and to between 700% and 1300% in 2040 -- clearly unsustainable levels. For the debt to be sustainable, significant increases in taxes, or cuts in government spending are necessary.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Magnus Blomström & Jennifer Corbett & Fumio Hayashi & Anil Kashyap, 2003. "Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blom03-1.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 9573.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9573
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Ishi, Hiromitsu, 2000. "Making Fiscal Policy in Japan: Economic Effects and Institutional Settings," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199240715.
    2. repec:fth:harver:1490 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mitsuhiro Fukao, 2002. "Financial Sector Profitability and Double-Gearing," NBER Working Papers 9368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Takero Doi & Takeo Hoshi, 2003. "Paying for the FILP," NBER Chapters, in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 37-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hiroko Ishii & Erika Wada, 1998. "Local Government Spending: Solving the Mystery of Japanese Fiscal Packages," Working Paper Series WP98-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    6. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Louise M. Sheiner & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity or Challenge?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 1-74.
    7. Ono, Hiroshi & Rebick, Marcus, 2002. "Impediments to the Productive Employment of Labor in Japan," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 500, Stockholm School of Economics.
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