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Spain, Japan, and the Dangers of Early Fiscal Tightening

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  • Javier Díaz Giménez
  • R. AntonBraun

Abstract

Spain's current recession was preceded by an extended period of rapid growth in real estate and equity prices. The recent sudden and sharp decline in these asset prices has been followed by a deep economic contraction. Is this recession a large but transient phenomenon? Or is it perhaps instead the harbinger of a protracted period of depressed asset prices and economic stagnation? Japan experienced a similar pattern of growth in land and equity prices in the late 1980s. The collapse of the Japanese bubble economy was followed by a protracted period of declines in asset prices and depressed economic activity. We compare Japan's experience in the 1980s and 1990s with current developments in Spain. One message that emerges from this narrative is that a fiscal tightening in Japan in 1997 may have been premature. We develop a prototypical New Keynesian model, calibrate it to replicate the Japan's experience in the 1980s and 1990s, and use it to evaluate the risks of tightening fiscal policy too early when the nominal interest rate is low. We find that a premature fiscal tightening can have large and negative effects on the real economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Díaz Giménez & R. AntonBraun, 2010. "Spain, Japan, and the Dangers of Early Fiscal Tightening," Working Papers 2010-14, FEDEA.
  • Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2010-14
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    File URL: http://documentos.fedea.net/pubs/dt/2010/dt-2010-14.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen, 2006. "The Japanese Saving Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1850-1858, December.
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    3. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
    4. R. Anton Braun & Daisuke Ikeda & Douglas H. Joines, 2009. "The Saving Rate In Japan: Why It Has Fallen And Why It Will Remain Low," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 291-321, February.
    5. R. Anton Braun & Yuichiro Waki, 2006. "Monetary Policy During Japan'S Lost Decade," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(2), pages 324-344.
    6. Rotemberg, Julio J., 1996. "Prices, output, and hours: An empirical analysis based on a sticky price model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 505-533, June.
    7. Selo Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 2005. "Japanese Saving Rate," 2005 Meeting Papers 747, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Robert E. Hall, 1977. "Investment, Interest Rates, and the Effects of Stabilization Policies," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 61-122.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Weisbrot & Juan Antonio Montecino, 2010. "Alternatives to Fiscal Austerity in Spain," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-18, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

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