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Banking Crises and “Japanization†: Origins and Implications

  • Masahiro Kawai

    (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))

  • Peter Morgan

Japan’s “two lost decades†perhaps represent an extreme example of a weak recovery from a financial crisis, and are now referred to as “Japanization.†More recently, widespread stagnation in advanced economies in the wake of the global financial crisis led to fears that Japanization might spread to other countries. This study examines the dimensions of Japanization—including low trend growth, debt deleveraging, deflation, and massive increases in government debt—and analyzes their possible causes—including inadequate macroeconomic policy responses, delayed banking sector restructuring, inadequate corporate investment, loss of industrial competitiveness, a slowdown in total factor productivity (TFP) growth due to excessive regulation and economic rigidities, and an aging society. The study compares Japan’s experience with three other groups that experienced banking crises in the 1990s—developed economies; emerging Asian economies and Latin American economies. Japan’s experience is found to parallel most closely that of other Asian economies that experienced unusually high growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP) and credit before their crises. The study also develops an econometric model of long-term growth rates that uses measures of net investment, the share of the aged in the population, and occurrence of banking crises in addition to traditional explanatory variables. It finds that very low rates of consumer price index (CPI) inflation (or deflation) and net investment, the lack of openness to foreign direct investment, and an aged population explain much of Japan’s slowdown.

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Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Governance Working Papers with number 23509.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eab:govern:23509
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  1. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap, 1999. "The Japanese Banking Crisis: Where Did It Come From and How Will It End?," NBER Working Papers 7250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen, 2009. "The Second Great Contraction," MPRA Paper 21485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Masahiro Kawai, 2005. "Reform of the Japanese Banking System," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-102, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1676-1706, August.
  5. Kazuo Ueda, 2012. "Deleveraging and Monetary Policy: Japan since the 1990s and the United States since 2007," CARF F-Series CARF-F-283, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  6. Koichi Hamada & Yasushi Okada, 2009. "Monetary and international factors behind Japan's lost decade," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Globalization, 20th Anniversary Conference, NBER-TCER-CEPR National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Toshitaka Sekine, 1999. "Firm Investment and Balance-Sheet Problems in Japan," IMF Working Papers 99/111, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 2001. "Economic Growth in East Asia Before and After the Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 8330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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