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On the Japanese Economy and Japanese National Accounts

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  • Albert Ando

Abstract

A review of the Japanese National Accounts reveals that the Japanese household sector has apparently suffered a capital loss of some 400 trillion-yen in 1990 consumption prices since 1970. This loss is large enough to explain most of the Japanese recession of the 1990's. We can trace some three-fourths of this capital loss to the loss in the market value of Japanese corporations relative to their accounting value (at reproduction cost). While some plausible explanations for this loss can be offered, they are subject to serious doubts because of difficulties encountered in working with the Japanese National Accounts data. Similarly, we find total government expenditures reported in Japanese fiscal statistics difficult to interpret, and the difference between this total and total expenditures for the general government sector in the National Accounts hard to identify and understand. Until the relationship between the budget totals and the corresponding figures in the National Accounts is fully clarified, we are unable to say what the actual history of Japanese fiscal policy has been. We conclude the paper with a set of suggestions for improving the Japanese government's fiscal statistics and its National Income Accounts. We also hope that our discussion will serve as a guide for users of these statistics as to where they must be cautious.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert Ando, 2000. "On the Japanese Economy and Japanese National Accounts," NBER Working Papers 8033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8033 Note: EFG
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1990. "Bank Monitoring and Investment: Evidence from the Changing Structure of Japanese Corporate Banking Relationships," NBER Chapters,in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 105-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 18, pages 315-341 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1989. "Bank monitoring and investment: evidence from the changing structure of Japanese corporate banking relations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 86, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Aoki, Masahiko, 1989. "The nature of the Japanese firm as a nexus of employment and financial contracts: An overview," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 345-366, December.
    5. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Is Japan's saving rate high?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-9.
    6. Adam S. Posen, 1998. "Restoring Japan's Economic Growth," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 35.
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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Hunt & Douglas Laxton, 2004. "The Zero Interest Rate Floor (ZIF) and its Implications for Monetary Policy in Japan," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 187(1), pages 76-92, January.
    2. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Kenneth D. West, 2006. "Land Prices and Business Fixed Investment in Japan," Chapters,in: Long-run Growth and Short-run Stabilization, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Arby, Muhammad Farooq, 2008. "Some Issues in the National Income Accounts of Pakistan (Rebasing, Quarterly and Provincial Accounts and Growth Accounting)," MPRA Paper 32048, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Deepak Lal, 2002. "The Japanese Slump," UCLA Economics Working Papers 811, UCLA Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access

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