Causes of the Long Stagnation of Japan during the 1990fs: Financial or Real?
Corporate investment is the most important factor to explain the long stagnation of Japan during the 1990's. Using the Bank of Japan diffusion indices of 'real profitability' and 'banks' willingness to lend', we estimate investment functions for four groups of firms: large/small and manufacturing/non-manufacturing. Our results suggest that for large firms, financing constraints are not significant whereas the converse is true for small firms. A fall of investment during 1992-94 is largely explained by real factors. However, the credit crunch occurred beginning 1997 and it lowered the growth rate of GDP by 1.6%.
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