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Borrowing constraints and protracted recessions

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  • Keiichiro Kobayashi
  • Masaru Inaba

Abstract

This paper shows that some of the puzzling observations in the protracted recessions of the 1990s in Japan and the 1930s in the United States can be accounted for by a simple variant of the neoclassical growth model with borrowing constraints. There are three puzzles: First, a large wedge emerged between the marginal rate of substitution between consumption and leisure and the marginal product of labor. This labor wedge is associated with declines in labor inputs. Second, although shrinkage of investment was observed in both episodes, a wedge that represents investment frictions did not emerge. Third, in spite of unprecedented monetary easing in Japan since the late 1990s, deflation has continued. A key ingredient is the emergence of a huge accumulation of nonperforming debts, which must have been a consequence of the large fluctuations in asset prices. The debts tighten the borrowing constraints and can cause the puzzling features of the recessions, which may be protracted if the bad debt problem persists for years.

Suggested Citation

  • Keiichiro Kobayashi & Masaru Inaba, 2006. "Borrowing constraints and protracted recessions," Discussion papers 06011, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:06011
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    File URL: https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/06e011.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. KOBAYASHI Keiichiro & INABA Masaru (RIETI), 2007. "Debt-Ridden Equilibria - A Simple Theory of Great Depressions -," Discussion papers 07035, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China’s Low Consumption; The Neglected Role of Household Income," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Jahangir Aziz, 2008. "Deconstructing China’s and India’s Growth - The Role of Financial Policies," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22142, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. Keiichiro Kobayashi & Masaru Inaba, 2006. ""Irrational exuberance" in the Pigou cycle under collateral constraints," Discussion papers 06015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    5. Jahangir Aziz, 2006. "Rebalancing China’s Economy; What Does Growth Theory Tell Us?," IMF Working Papers 06/291, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Jahangir Aziz, 2008. "Real and Financial Sector Linkages in China and India," IMF Working Papers 08/95, International Monetary Fund.

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