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Public Debt and the Macroeconomic Stability of Japan


  • Keigo Kameda


  • Masao Nakata


Recently, the outstanding debt of the Japanese government amounts to 695 trillion yen, which implies 139.5% of GDP. In this paper, we constructed three IS-LM type dynamic models and estimate the eigenvalues of their differential systems. Then we confirm whether or not the huge amount of public debt violates the stability conditions for the Japanese economy. Our estimation concludes the Japanese economy to be unstable with the existence of a saddle-point equilibrium. Our simulation also shows that severe tax reform would be required to restore the economic stability. Concretely, the government has to raise the consumption tax rate to 15% from 5%, and in addition, allowing the income elasticities of income taxes and inhabitant taxes to increase by 0.033 each, which is equivalent to tax hikes of about 8.3 trillion yen. We assert that structural reform for the government budget including a tax system is essential and emergent.

Suggested Citation

  • Keigo Kameda & Masao Nakata, 2005. "Public Debt and the Macroeconomic Stability of Japan," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22603, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:macroe:22603

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Turnovsky,Stephen J., 1977. "Macroeconomic Analysis and Stabilization Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521291873, March.
    3. Hamilton, James D & Flavin, Marjorie A, 1986. "On the Limitations of Government Borrowing: A Framework for EmpiricalTesting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 808-819, September.
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    More about this item


    public debt; Japan; macroeconomic stability; saddle-point equilibrium; structural reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General


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