The 1990s in Japan: A lost decade

Fumio Hayashi, Edward C. Prescott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

411 Scopus citations


This paper examines the Japanese economy in the 1990s, a decade of economic stagnation. We find that the problem is not a breakdown of the financial system, as corporations large and small were able to find financing for investments. There is no evidence of profitable investment opportunities not being exploited due to lack of access to capital markets. The problem then and today is a low productivity growth rate. Growth theory, treating TFP as exogenous, accounts well for the Japanese lost decade of growth. We think that research effort should be focused on what policy changes will allow productivity to again grow rapidly. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Numbers: E2, E13, O4, O5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-235
Number of pages30
JournalReview of Economic Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth model
  • Japan
  • TFP
  • Workweek

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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