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Marvin WolfAn excellent book.
— The Financial Times
This timely report by the Institute for International Economics has received worldwide coverage in leading newspapers and magazines, including The Economist, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Week, Asahi Shimbun and others. The author launched his book at the Central Bank of Japan in mid-September. While it is hoped that that the book will be read at the highest echelons of Japan's government in an attempt to reverse the country's economic downslide, it is also accessible to others with an interest in the country's economy.
Adam S. Posen, Research Fellow, is a monetary economist specializing in the political economy of macroeconomic performance in the industrial democracies. He is the author or co-author of numerous works on monetary policy, comparative financial systems, and international political economy including Inflation Targeting: Lessons from the International Experience (Princeton University Press 1998) and Why Central Bank Independence Does Not Cause Low Inflation (1993). He received his Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University, where he was an NSF Graduate Fellow from 1989-92. Prior to joining the Institute, he was Economist in International Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1994-97), Okun Memorial Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution (1993-94), and a Bosch Foundation Fellow in Germany (1992-93).
Will the Japanese government take the decisive but manageable policy actions needed to bring about economic recovery? Despite claims to the contrary, macroeconomic expansion has yet to be seriously tried in Japan. Only one-third of the announced stimulus packages of 1992-97 were actually undertaken. In addition, monetary expansion has been insufficient to prevent deflation. Actual stimulus packages in the form of permanent tax cuts should be 4 percent of GDP before the end of calendar year 1998, and the price level must be stabilized.
Criticism of current Japanese macroeconomic and financial policies is so widespread that the reasons for it are assumed to be self-evident. In this volume, Adam Posen explains in depth why a shift in Japanese fiscal and monetary policies, as well as financial reform, would be in Japan's own self-interest. He demonstrates that Japanese economic stagnation in the 1990s is the result of mistaken policies of fiscal austerity and financial laissez-faire rather than any supposed structural failures of the "Japan Model." The author outlines a program for putting the country back on the path to solid economic growth- primarily through permanent tax cuts and monetary stabilization-and draws broader lessons to be learned from recent Japanese policy actions that led to country's continuing stagnation.
Dr. Posen's objective analysis and comparative examples of policies from across the OECD are enhanced by the report's timeliness. His book should be required reading for Japan's business and academic communities, US foreign policy and financial players, and central bank and treasury officials. As a deep analysis of a critical episode in economic policymaking, the book will be a useful supplementary text for both under- and post-graduate level courses in macroeconomics, comparative political economy, Japan or East Asian studies, public finance, and international relations.
From the Backcover
(II) Diagnosis-Macroeconomic Stagnation, not Structural Change;
(III) Fiscal Policy Works When It Is Tried;
(IV) The Short and the Long of Fiscal Policy;
(V) Mounting Downside Risks-Financial and International;
(VI) A Program for Japanese Economic Recovery;
(VII) Recognizing Policy Mistakes, Not Blaming the Model.
(*) Formerly advertised as How Much is Enough for Japan?