Academic Commons

Reports

The Realities and Relevance of Japan's Great Recession: Neither Ran nor Rashomon

Posen, Adam

Japan's Great Recession was the result of a series of macroeconomic and financial policy mistakes. Thus, it was largely avoidable once the initial shock from the bubble bursting had passed. The aberration in Japan's recession was not the behaviour of growth, which is best seen as a series of recoveries aborted by policy errors. Rather, the surprise was the persistent steadiness of limited deflation, even after recovery took place. This is a more fundamental challenge to our basic macroeconomic understanding than is commonly recognized. The UK and US economies are at low risk of having recurrent recessions through macroeconomic policy mistakes—but deflation itself cannot be ruled out. The United Kingdom worryingly combines a couple of financial parallels to Japan with far less room for fiscal action to compensate for them than Japan had. Also, Japan did not face poor prospects for external demand and the need to reallocate productive resources across export sectors during its Great Recession. Many economies do now face this challenge simultaneously, which may limit the pace of, and their share in, the global recovery.

Geographic Areas

Subjects

Files

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Publisher
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Series
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 290
Published Here
February 15, 2011
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.