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Saving and Interest Rates in Japan: Why They Have Fallen and Why They Will Remain Low

Author

Listed:
  • R. Anton Braun

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • Daisuke Ikeda

    (Bank of Japan)

  • Douglas H. Joines

    (Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California)

Abstract

This paper quantifies the role of alternative shocks in accounting for the recent declines in Japanese saving rates and interest rates and provides some projections about their future course. We consider four distinct sources of variation in saving rates and real interest rates: changes in fertility rates, changes in survival rates, changes in technology and changes in uninsurable labor income risk. The emprical relevance of these factors is explored using a computable dynamic OLG model. We find that the combined effects of demographics and slower total factor productivity growth successfully explain both the levels and the magnitudes of the declines in the saving rate and the after-tax real interest rate during the 1990s. Model simulations indicate that the Japanese savings puzzle is over.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Anton Braun & Daisuke Ikeda & Douglas H. Joines, 2005. "Saving and Interest Rates in Japan: Why They Have Fallen and Why They Will Remain Low," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-328, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2005cf328
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    File URL: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/dp/2005/2005cf328.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
    2. 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.
    3. Selo Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen & Ayse Imrohoroglu, 2005. "Japanese Saving Rate," 2005 Meeting Papers 747, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen, 2006. "The Japanese Saving Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1850-1858, December.
    5. Horioka, Charles Yuji, 1995. "Is Japan's Household Saving Rate Really High?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 41(4), pages 373-397, December.
    6. Hayashi, Fumio, 1995. "Is the Japanese Extended Family Altruistically Linked? A Test Based on Engel Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 661-674, June.
    7. Hayashi, Fumio & Ito, Takatoshi & Slemrod, Joel, 1988. "Housing finance imperfections, taxation, and private saving: A comparative simulation analysis of the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 215-238, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hiroki Arato & Katsunori Yamada, 2012. "Japan's Intangible Capital and Valuation of Corporations in a Neoclassical Framework," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(4), pages 459-478, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Yamada, Tomoaki, 2012. "Income risk, macroeconomic and demographic change, and economic inequality in Japan," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 63-84.
    4. R. Anton Braun & Toshihiro Okada & Nao Sudou, 2006. "U.S. R&D and Japanese Medium Term Cycles," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 06-E-6, Bank of Japan.
    5. Akira Okamoto, 2013. "Welfare Analysis of Pension Reforms in an Ageing Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 452-483, December.
    6. Bommier, Antoine, 2009. "Mortality Decline and Aggregate Wealth Accumulation," TSE Working Papers 09-050, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Akira Okamoto, 2013. "Simulating Public Pension Reforms in an Aging Japan: Welfare Analysis with LSRA Transfers," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 9(4), pages 597-632, September.
    8. Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Kaiji Chen, 2006. "The Japanese Saving Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1850-1858, December.
    9. İşcan, Talan B., 2011. "Productivity growth and the U.S. saving rate," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 501-514.
    10. Henning Bohn, 2006. "Optimal Private Responses to Demographic Trends: Savings, Bequests and International Mobility," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
    11. Miguel Sánchez Romero & Naohiro Ogawa & Rikiya Matsukura, 2013. "To give or not to give: bequest estimate and wealth impact based on a CGE model with realistic demography in Japan," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2013-012, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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