IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cnn/wpaper/17-009e.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Optimum Quantity of Debt for Japan

Author

Listed:
  • Tomoyuki Nakajima
  • Shuhei Takahashi

Abstract

Japan's net government debt is 130% of GDP in 2013. The present paper analyzes the effect of the large government debt on welfare. We use a heterogeneous-agent, incomplete-market model with idiosyncratic wage risk, a borrowing constraint, and endogenous labor supply. We calibrate the model to the Japanese economy using evidence based on macro-level and micro-level data. We find that the optimal level of government debt is -50% of GDP for Japan. The welfare cost of keeping government debt to 130% of GDP rather than the optimal level is 0.19% of consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomoyuki Nakajima & Shuhei Takahashi, 2017. "The Optimum Quantity of Debt for Japan," CIGS Working Paper Series 17-009E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:cnn:wpaper:17-009e
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cigs.canon/article/uploads/pdf/workingpapers/171024_nakajima.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Gregory Mankiw, N., 1999. "Government debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1615-1669, Elsevier.
    2. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2016. "Constrained Inefficiency and Optimal Taxation with Uninsurable Risks," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(1), pages 1-28, February.
    3. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
    4. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "The 1990s in Japan: a lost decade," Chapters, in: Paolo Onofri (ed.), The Economics of an Ageing Population, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Sudo, Nao, 2011. "Will a Growth Miracle Reduce Debt in Japan?," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 62(1), pages 44-56, January.
    6. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    7. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2006. "From Individual To Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based On A Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, February.
    8. Tomoyuki Nakajima & Shuhei Takahashi, 2020. "The Effectiveness of Consumption Taxes and Transfers as Insurance Against Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(2-3), pages 505-530, March.
    9. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Nao Sudo, 2011. "Productivity and Fiscal Policy in Japan: Short-Term Forecasts from the Standard Growth Model," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 29, pages 73-106, November.
    10. Gary Hansen & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2016. "Fiscal Reform and Government Debt in Japan: A Neoclassical Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 201-224, July.
    11. Floden, Martin, 2001. "The effectiveness of government debt and transfers as insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 81-108, August.
    12. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    13. Doi, Takero & Hoshi, Takeo & Okimoto, Tatsuyoshi, 2011. "Japanese government debt and sustainability of fiscal policy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 414-433.
    14. Martin Floden & Jesper Lindé, 2001. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the United States and Sweden: Is There a Role for Government Insurance?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 406-437, July.
    15. Alonso-Ortiz, Jorge & Rogerson, Richard, 2010. "Taxes, transfers and employment in an incomplete markets model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 949-958, November.
    16. Kitao, Sagiri, 2015. "Fiscal cost of demographic transition in Japan," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 37-58.
    17. Nutahara, Kengo, 2015. "Laffer curves in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 56-72.
    18. Jeremy Lise & Nao Sudo & Michio Suzuki & Ken Yamada & Tomoaki Yamada, 2014. "Wage, Income and Consumption Inequality in Japan, 1981-2008: from Boom to Lost Decades," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 582-612, October.
    19. Sugo, Tomohiro & Ueda, Kozo, 2008. "Estimating a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model for Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 476-502, December.
    20. Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Precautionary Savings or Working Longer Hours?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 326-352, April.
    21. Arai, Real & Ueda, Junji, 2013. "A numerical evaluation of the sustainable size of the primary deficit in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 59-75.
    22. Shuhei Takahashi, 2020. "Time-Varying Wage Risk, Incomplete Markets, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 195-213, July.
    23. Takeo Hoshi & Takatoshi Ito, 2014. "Defying gravity: can Japanese sovereign debt continue to increase without a crisis? [Fiscal discipline and the cost of public debt service: some estimates for OECD countries]," Economic Policy, CEPR, CESifo, Sciences Po;CES;MSH, vol. 29(77), pages 5-44.
    24. Unknown, 1986. "Letters," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 1(4), pages 1-9.
    25. Selahattin İmrohoroğlu & Sagiri Kitao & Tomoaki Yamada, 2016. "Achieving Fiscal Balance In Japan," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 117-154, February.
    26. Braun, R. Anton & Joines, Douglas H., 2015. "The implications of a graying Japan for government policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-23.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Virtue U. Ekhosuehi, 2021. "Optimal control of external debt for a developing economy," OPSEARCH, Springer;Operational Research Society of India, vol. 58(4), pages 889-905, December.
    2. Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2017. "Replacing Income Taxation with Consumption Taxation in Japan," CIGS Working Paper Series 17-008E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    3. Sakuragawa, Masaya & Sakuragawa, Yukie, 2020. "Government fiscal projection and debt sustainability," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    4. Ignacio Lozano-Espitia & Fernando Arias-Rodríguez & Jesus Bejarano & Andres Gonzalez & Clark Granger-Castaño & Franz Hamann & Yurany Hernández-Turca & Juan Manuel Julio-Román & Martha López & Juan C. , 2019. "La política fiscal y la estabilización macroeconómica en Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, issue 90, pages 1-60, April.
    5. Hansen, Gary & İmrohoroğlu, Selahattin, 2018. "Replacing income taxation with consumption taxation in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 15-28.
    6. Nakajima, Tomoyuki & Takahashi, Shuhei, 2022. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and the government asset Laffer curve," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    7. Alberola, Enrique & Cheng, Gong & Consiglio, Andrea & Zenios, Stavros A., 2023. "Unconventional monetary policy and debt sustainability in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    8. Yoshida, Motonori, 2023. "Chronological changes of government sectors’ fiscal policies and fiscal sustainability in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Tomoyuki Nakajima & Shuhei Takahashi, 2020. "The Effectiveness of Consumption Taxes and Transfers as Insurance Against Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(2-3), pages 505-530, March.
    2. Shuhei Takahashi & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2016. "Consumption Taxes and Divisibility of Labor under Incomplete Markets," 2016 Meeting Papers 797, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Selahattin İmrohoroğlu & Sagiri Kitao & Tomoaki Yamada, 2016. "Achieving Fiscal Balance In Japan," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57(1), pages 117-154, February.
    4. İmrohoroğlu, Selahattin & Kitao, Sagiri & Yamada, Tomoaki, 2019. "Fiscal sustainability in Japan: What to tackle?," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    5. Shuhei Takahashi & Ken Yamada, 2017. "The Impact of Taxes and Transfers on Skill Premium," KIER Working Papers 976, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Minchung Hsu & Tomoaki Yamada, 2019. "Population Aging, Health Care, and Fiscal Policy Reform: The Challenges for Japan," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(2), pages 547-577, April.
    7. D’Erasmo, P. & Mendoza, E.G. & Zhang, J., 2016. "What is a Sustainable Public Debt?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2493-2597, Elsevier.
    8. Tiago Berriel & Rodrigo Abreu, 2015. "Long Term Debt and Credit Crisis in a Liquidity Constrained Economy," Textos para discussão 644, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    9. Selahattin İmrohoroğlu & Sagiri Kitao & Tomoaki Yamada, 2017. "Can Guest Workers Solve Japan'S Fiscal Problems?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1287-1307, July.
    10. Fève, Patrick & Matheron, Julien & Sahuc, Jean-Guillaume, 2012. "The Laffer Curve in an Incomplete-Market Economy," TSE Working Papers 12-288, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2013.
    11. Bo Hyun Chang & Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2018. "Pareto Weights in Practice: A Quantitative Analysis of 32 OECD Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 181-204, April.
    12. Takahashi, Shuhei & Yamada, Ken, 2022. "Understanding international differences in the skill premium: The role of capital taxes and transfers," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    13. Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2017. "Replacing Income Taxation with Consumption Taxation in Japan," CIGS Working Paper Series 17-008E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    14. Yongsung Chang & Yena Park, 2021. "Optimal Taxation with Private Insurance [Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving]," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 88(6), pages 2766-2798.
    15. Sagiri Kitao, 2017. "When do we Start? Pension reform in ageing Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 68(1), pages 26-47, March.
    16. Kitao, Sagiri & Mikoshiba, Minamo, 2020. "Females, the elderly, and also males: Demographic aging and macroeconomy in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 56(C).
    17. Sagiri Kitao, 2018. "Policy Uncertainty and Cost of Delaying Reform: The Case of Aging Japan," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 81-100, January.
    18. Kartik B. Athreya & Andrea L. Waddle, 2007. "Implications of some alternatives to capital income taxation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 93(Win), pages 31-55.
    19. Hsu, Minchung & Yang, C.C., 2013. "Optimal linear and two-bracket income taxes with idiosyncratic earnings risk," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 58-71.
    20. Shuhei Takahashi, 2020. "Time-Varying Wage Risk, Incomplete Markets, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 195-213, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cnn:wpaper:17-009e. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: The Canon Institute for Global Studies (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/canonjp.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.