Why Did Japan Stop Growing?



Takeo Hoshi, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego

Date and Time

March 7, 2011 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



Open to the public.

RSVP required by 5PM March 04.


Philippines Conference Room

The Japanese economy has been stagnating for almost two decades. During this event, Takeo Hoshi will describe the findings of a report that he co-authored with Anil Kashyap of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In the report, Hoshi and Kashyap utilized the neoclassical growth model in order to try to explain the causes of this stagnation and to identify policy choices that might help restore growth. Their focus was intentionally on longer-term issues, rather than the immediate challenges that are associated with the fallout from the global recession.

Looking at financial globalization and the collapse of the fixed exchange rate regime they found that by the end of the 1970s Japan could not rely on an undervalued currency to boost its exports. It had to rearrange its production system and other economic institutions to cope with globalization to reduce its reliance on external demand.

Japan's population structure was shifting and becoming increasingly elderly. Aging meant slower growth of the labor force. Declining fertility combined with aging eventually reduced the domestic saving that supported economic expansion during the rapid economic growth period.

Finally, monetary and fiscal policy performed poorly. The Bank of Japan consistently undershot its inflation objective. The government pursued massive fiscal stimulus during the 1990s and 2000s, so much so that Japan went from having the best debt position amongst advanced economies to the worst.

Hoshi is a Pacific Economic Cooperation Professor in international economic relations at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is also a research associate at the Tokyo Center for Economic Research, and is on the board of directors for Union Bank. His major research area is the study of the financial aspects of the Japanese economy, especially corporate finance and governance.

He is a recipient of the 2011 Reischauer International Education award, the 2006 Enjoji Jiro Memorial Prize, and the 2005 JEA-Nakahara Prize. Among his many publications is Corporate Financing and Governance in Japan: The Road to the Future (MIT Press, 2001), which received the Nikkei Award for the Best Economics Books in 2002.