Takatoshi Ito, Junko Shimizu, 20 March 2012

Last year, the yen reached a post-war high against the dollar and a record high against the euro. This column looks at the recent trend in the Japanese currency and outlines what Japan’s policymakers should do about it.

Richard Baldwin, 20 March 2012

VoxEU welcomes the latest member of the Vox consortium – RIETI – that provides policy-relevant research and commentary on Japanese and global issues. Launched in April 2011, RIETI’s ‘columns&essays’ series hopes to become a major resource for economists, policymakers, and journalists with an interest in Japan, Asia, and the Japanese perspective on global issues.

Charles Wyplosz, 16 September 2011

Europe’s debt crisis is unfolding while Japanese and US debt problems are on hold. The problem of public debt in advanced economies will be with us for decades. This column introduces a new Geneva Report on the World Economy that addresses the nuts, bolts, and worries surrounding the issue.

Barry Eichengreen, Jürgen von Hagen, Charles Wyplosz, Jeffrey Liebman, Robert Feldman, 16 September 2011

The 13th CEPR/ICMB Geneva Report on the World Economy takes a long-term perspective on debt sustainability, arguing that fiscal stabilisation is easier the faster the economy is growing.

John Muellbauer, Keiko Murata, 21 August 2011

The global crisis of 2008-2009 has refocused attention on the lessons of Japan’s lost decade, with many suggesting that Europe and the US are heading the same direction. This makes a thorough understanding of the Japanese case an urgent matter. But this column argues that pushing the analogies too far is a mistake that could prolong the economic pain.

Uri Dadush, Bennett Stancil, 09 May 2011

Between 2000 and 2009, developing countries added almost $5 trillion to their foreign-exchange reserves – a number deemed too high by many, prompting accusations of protectionism. But this column argues that developed countries are equally to blame – as well as failures in international coordination. It concludes that remedies therefore require action by both groups.

Hubert Escaith, Robert Teh, Alexander Keck, Coleman Nee, 28 April 2011

The consequences of the tragic disaster in Japan are many. This column examines the trade effects. It suggests that Japanese exports will fall by 0.5–1.6% and its imports will rise by 0.4–1.3%. Despite the devastation in Japan, the effects on global trade will be relatively small.

Domingo Cavallo, Fernando Díaz, 17 February 2011

With growing inflation in China, policymakers are facing tough decisions. This column argues that if the government is to curb inflation without allowing for the deflation of the tradables, it should do so though sector focused policies. Monetary policy is already committed to the objective of preventing deflation of the tradables and to dampen the credit cycle that is behind asset bubbles.

Yiping Huang, 20 October 2010

On 19 October, the Chinese central bank announced a series of rate hikes. This column argues that the moves were aimed at combating domestic inflation and addressing the risks of an asset bubble.

Chunding Li, John Whalley, Yan Chen, 08 October 2010

As the debate over global imbalances develops, this column asks whether the discussion is based on faulty data. Using data from the US, Japan, Germany, and the Czech Republic, it argues that not taking due account of foreign affiliate sales leads to a warped view of trade in goods and services.

Daniel Gros, 08 October 2010

With the US threatening to label China a “currency manipulator”, this column presents a plan to address global imbalances without risking a trade war. It proposes a “reciprocity” requirement – if the US can’t buy Chinese government bonds, then China can’t buy US bonds either.

Takatoshi Ito, Satoshi Koibuchi, Kiyotaka Sato, Junko Shimizu, 08 September 2010

Why do so many Japanese firms risk their profits by invoicing their exporters in foreign currencies? This column, based on firm-level interview data, suggests that such invoicing may be motivated by the fact that many Japanese firms export their goods to foreign subsidiaries facing local competitors. Invoicing in foreign currencies concentrates currency risk at the company headquarters.

Harry Wu, 28 July 2010

In this column in memory of Angus Maddison, Harry Wu pays tribute to a mentor, friend, and pioneer who mapped economic performance across the world, and nurtured a passion for Japan and China.

Charles Wyplosz, 30 April 2010

The current debate in the US over Chinese exchange-rate policy can be viewed as a rerun of the 1970s and ‘80s, with China taking Japan’s role. This column, which first appeared in the Vox's latest eBook, argues that while there is a relationship between current-account deficits and surpluses, causality is difficult to establish. Politics aside, even if China does not choose to appreciate its currency, inflation will eventually finish the job.

Ryuhei Wakasugi, 27 November 2009

Japanese exports were hit particularly hard by the crisis. This chapter shows how tumbling US import demand hurt Japanese exports both directly and via indirect exports of goods assembled in China for the US market (the so-called “trade triad”). An investigation into the extensive and intensive margins during Japan’s recent trade collapse shows that most adjustment occurred in existing trade relationships; there is very little evidence of deeper harm to Japan’s export capability via damage to its international supply chain. That means the ongoing recovery of the US economy should produce an especially speedy revival of Japanese exports.

Mariassunta Giannetti, Andrei Simonov, 23 September 2009

Is there any evidence that bank bailouts will improve the real economy? This column uses micro-level evidence from the Japanese banking crisis to assess bank recapitalisation efforts. It says that bailouts do increase lending, but banks continue to lend to low-quality borrowers, and borrowers may hold the cash on their balance sheets rather than investing or hiring.

Kiyoyasu Tanaka, 07 May 2009

Global trade is collapsing at an unprecedented rate, but not evenly across the globe. This column argues that ‘vertical specialisation’ – the internationalisation of manufacturing supply chains – accounts for the amplification of Japan’s drop in trade. The good news is that once OECD countries start to recover, the amplification should work in reverse, boosting Japanese exports and imports at an accelerating rate.

Sandra Poncet, 16 February 2009

This column says that less-productive Japanese firms are more sensitive to distance and institutional quality in their locational decisions abroad. Alternatively, the greater responsiveness of low-productivity firms to the presence of an export promotion agency or a Japanese community indicates that networks and spillovers may help to mitigate these impediments.

Keiichiro Kobayashi, 27 October 2008

Japan’s banking crisis of the late 1990s and early 2000s offer critical lessons on how to deal with the current financial crisis. This column warns against relying on fiscal stimulus, stresses the importance of recapitalising viable bank but letting the ‘zombie banks’ go bust to boost certainty about financial firms’ solvency. In order to avoid a vicious cycle of steady economic decline as in Japan, the G8 and emerging economies should create a "Financial System Stabilisation Fund".

Charles Wyplosz, 20 July 2008

Should taxpayers bail out the banking system? One of the world’s leading international macroeconomists contrasts the Larry Summers “don’t-scare-off-the-investors” pro-bailout view with the Willem Buiter “they-ran-into-a wall-with-eyes-wide-open” anti-bailout view. He concludes that either way, taxpayers are always the losers. The best policy makers can do is to be merciless with shareholders and gentle with bank customers.

Pages

Events

CEPR Policy Research