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A Historical Evaluation of Financial Accelerator Effects in Japan's Economy

Fuchi, Hitoshi and Muto, Ichiro and Ugai, Hiroshi (2005): A Historical Evaluation of Financial Accelerator Effects in Japan's Economy.

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In this paper, we carry out a historical evaluation of the financial accelerator effects, which were mainly generated by the changes in asset prices, operating on Japan's economy since the 1980s. For this purpose, we estimate a Japanese financial accelerator model, which is a modified version of Bernanke, Gertler and Gilchrist [1999]'s model, and identify the historical exogenous shocks affecting the evolution of firms' net worth. As a result, we confirm that the estimated parameter on the corporate balance sheet channel is statistically significant. We also find that the identified net worth shocks, which change the amount of firms' debt holdings relative to their total values, produced a large and persistent impact on Japan's output and prices. This result strongly suggests that the negative financial accelerator effects were indispensable to explain the mechanism behind Japan's long stagnation during the 1990s and early 2000s, as well as indicating that the deflation of general prices since the late 1990s has been at least partly attributed to the same cause.

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