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An Exploration of the Japanese Slowdown during the 1990s

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  • Diego A. Comin

Abstract

Why did the Japanese slowdown of the 90s last so long if none of the shocks that hit the Japanese economy had a comparable persistence? In this paper, I use the Comin and Gertler (2006) model of medium term fluctuations to explore whether their endogenous technology mechanisms can amplify and propagate the wage markup fluctuations observed in Japan over the early 90s to drive a Japanese productivity slowdown. The model can reproduce the observed decline, relative to trend of R&D expenditures and the slowdown in the diffusion of new technologies. This slowdown in the development and adoption of new technologies constitutes a powerful propagation mechanism. As a result, the model does a good job in reproducing the evolution of output, consumption, investment, TFP and hours worked in Japan during the "lost decade", specially up to 1998. During the last two years of the decade, the propagation mechanisms in the model seem to run out of steam, while the Japanese economy continued to deteriorate.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego A. Comin, 2008. "An Exploration of the Japanese Slowdown during the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 14509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14509 Note: EFG ITI ME PR
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2007. "Markups, Gaps, and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 44-59, November.
    3. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M, 1995. "Output Dynamics in Real-Business-Cycle Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 492-511, June.
    4. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 223-250, January.
    5. Diego Comin & Mark Gertler, 2006. "Medium-Term Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 523-551, June.
    6. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    7. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "On the timing of innovation in stochastic Schumpeterian growth models," Working Paper Series WP-04-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Canova, Fabio & Menz, Tobias, 2010. "Japan's Lost decade: Does money have a role?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 178-195, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

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