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Did Japan's high-growth success foster persistent stagnation?

W.R. Garside

Keywords: stagnation; banking crises; institutions; deflation; economic orthodoxy


This paper contends that there is a continuum in Japan's experience of growth and decline from the 1990s to the turn of the century and beyond. A lingering attachment to the bureaucratic, financial and political underpinnings of high-growth success affected Japan's response to critical shifts in national and international economic circumstance once economic catch-up had been achieved. The institutional and ideational matrix constructed to deliver catch-up growth subsequently affected the content and fate of economic policy in subsequent decades. In the tensions that emerged between shifting circumstance and established practice can be traced the origins and nature of the ‘boom and bust’ years of the 1990s, the lacklustre reform programme that ensued and the reasons for continued stagnation into the new millennium.

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