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The Causes of Japan's "Lost Decade": The Role of Household Consumption

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  • Charles Yuji Horioka

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze the causes of the prolonged slowdown of the Japanese economy in the 1990s and find that the stagnation of investment, especially private fixed investment, was the primary culprit. I then investigate the causes of the stagnation of household consumption during the 1990s and find that the stagnation of household disposable income, the decline in household wealth, and increased uncertainty about the future are among the contributing factors. Finally, I consider whether demand side factors or supply side factors were more important as causes of the prolonged slowdown of the Japanese economy in the 1990s and conclude that the former (especially misguided government policies) were probably more important.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Yuji Horioka, 2006. "The Causes of Japan's "Lost Decade": The Role of Household Consumption," NBER Working Papers 12142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12142 Note: EFG PE
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    1. Saito, Makoto & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2003. "Precautionary Motives versus Waiting Options: Evidence from Aggregate Household Saving in Japan," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(3), pages 1-20, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masahiko Shibamoto & Ryuzo Miyao, 2008. "Understanding Output and Price Dynamics in Japan: Why Have Japan's Price Movements Been Relatively Stable Since the 1990s?," Discussion Paper Series 219, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    2. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2012. "Recent Trends in Consumption in Japan and the Other Group of Seven (G7) Countries," ISER Discussion Paper 0861, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    3. Céline Antonin & Christophe Blot & Amel Falah & Sabine Le Bayon & Hervé Péléraux & Christophe Blot & Christine Rifflart & Xavier Timbeau & Sabine Le Bayon & Catherine Mathieu & Mathieu Plane & Christi, 2014. "Le piège de la déflation: Perspectives économiques 2014-2015 pour l'économie mondiale," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/3rkj9m8cf38, Sciences Po.
    4. Kiichi Tokuoka, 2010. "Rebalancing in Japan; The Role of Private Consumption," IMF Working Papers 10/293, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Muellbauer, John & Murata, Keiko, 2009. "Consumption, Land Prices and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Japan," CEPR Discussion Papers 7269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Atsuo Utaka, 2014. "Consumer Confidence and the Japanese Economy -Comparison of Pre- and Post-Bubble Period-," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 1165-1173.
    7. Kazuki Tomioka & Rod Tyers, 2016. "Has Foreign Growth Contributed to Stagnation and Inequality in Japan?," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 16-14, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    8. Yang Hu & Les Oxley, 2017. "Bubble Contagion: Evidence from Japan's Asset Price Bubble of the 1980-90s," Working Papers in Economics 17/20, University of Waikato.
    9. Rod Tyers, 2012. "Japanese Economic Stagnation: Causes and Global Implications," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(283), pages 517-536, December.
    10. Kohara, Miki & Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2006. "Do borrowing constraints matter? An analysis of why the permanent income hypothesis does not apply in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 358-377, December.
    11. Schaede Ulrike, 2013. "Sunshine and Suicides in Japan: revisiting the relevance of economic determinants of suicide," Contemporary Japan, De Gruyter, vol. 25(2), pages 105-126, August.
    12. Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2011. "Japan’s Economic Recovery: Insights from Multi-Region Dynamics," CAMA Working Papers 2011-18, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    13. Rohman, Ibrahim Kholilul & Bohlin, Erik, 2014. "Decomposition analysis of the telecommunications sector in Indonesia: What does the cellular era shed light on?," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 248-263.
    14. Somphoom Sawaengkun Author_Email: somphoom@yahoo.com, 2011. "Household Consumption And Old-Age Population: Empirical Study For Thailand And Japan," Annual Summit on Business and Entrepreneurial Studies (ASBES 2011) Proceeding 2011-015-136, Conference Master Resources.
    15. Nishi, Hiroshi, 2011. "A VAR Analysis for the Growth Regime and Demand Formation Patterns of the Japanese Economy," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 10.
    16. Kurita, Takamitsu, 2010. "Co-breaking, cointegration, and weak exogeneity: Modelling aggregate consumption in Japan," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 574-584, March.
    17. Alan J. Auerbach & William G. Gale, 2009. "Activist fiscal policy to stabilize economic activity," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 327-374.
    18. Céline Antonin & Christophe Blot & Amel Falah & Sabine Le Bayon & Hervé Péléraux & Christine Rifflart & Xavier Timbeau & Catherine Mathieu & Mathieu Plane, 2014. "Le piège de la déflation," Post-Print hal-01093020, HAL.
    19. Vipin Arora & Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2014. "Reconstructing the Savings Glut: The Global Implications of Asian Excess Saving," CAMA Working Papers 2014-20, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    20. Maito, Esteban Ezequiel, 2014. "Auge y estancamiento de Japón (1955-2008). Una explicación marxista
      [Rise and standstill of Japan (1955-2008). A Marxist explanation]
      ," MPRA Paper 53102, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Japan; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 10/212, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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