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

Listed author(s):
  • Charles Yuji Horioka

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12142.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12142.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
Publication status: published as Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2006. "The causes of Japan's `lost decade': The role of household consumption," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 378-400, December.
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.
  2. Bayoumi, Tamim, 2001. "The morning after: explaining the slowdown in Japanese growth in the 1990s," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 241-259, April.
  3. C. Y. Horioka & H. Fujisaki & W. Watanabe & T. Kouno, 2000. "Are Americans More Altruistic than the Japanese? A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Saving and Bequest Motives," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 1-31.
  4. Adam S. Posen & Ryoichi Mikitani (ed.), 2000. "Japan's Financial Crisis and Its Parallels to U. S. Experience," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number sr13, 03.
  5. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "The 1990s in Japan: a lost decade," Chapters, in: The Economics of an Ageing Population, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  6. Albert Ando & Dimitrios Christelis & Tsutomu Miyagawa, 2003. "Inefficiency of Corporate Investment and Distortion of Savings Behavior in Japan," NBER Chapters,in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 155-190 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Adam S. Posen & Ryoichi Mikitani (ed.), 2000. "Japan's Financial Crisis and Its Parallels to U. S. Experience," Peterson Institute Press: Special Reports, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number sr13, July.
  8. Kobayashi, Keiichiro & Inaba, Masaru, 2006. "Business cycle accounting for the Japanese economy," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 418-440, December.
  9. Zhou, Yanfei, 2003. "Precautionary saving and earnings uncertainty in Japan: A household-level analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 192-212, June.
  10. Murata, Keiko, 2003. "Precautionary Savings and Income Uncertainty: Evidence from Japanese Micro Data," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(3), pages 21-52, October.
  11. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Watanabe, Wako, 1997. "Why Do People Save? A Micro-Analysis of Motives for Household Saving in Japan," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 537-552, May.
  12. Ando, Albert, 2002. "Missing Household Saving and Valuation of Corporations: Inquiry into Japanese National Accounts I," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 147-176, June.
  13. Adam S. Posen, 1998. "Restoring Japan's Economic Growth," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 35, 03.
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