What to Read on Japan’s “Lost Decade”

Reconsidering Japan and Reconsidering Paul Krugman — Steven Hill

Throughout the 1990s, the Japanese unemployment rate was – ready for this? – about three percent. Not 30 percent, that’s three percent: about half the US unemployment rate at the time. During that allegedly “lost decade,” the Japanese also had universal health care, less inequality, the highest life expectancy and low rates of infant mortality, crime and incarceration. Americans should be so lucky as to experience a Japanese-style lost decade.

The Japan Myth — Daniel Gros

The best measure is not overall GDP growth, but the growth of income per head of the working-age population (not per capita). This last element is important because only the working-age population represents an economy’s productive potential.

When one looks at GDP/WAP (defined as population aged 20-60), one gets a surprising result: Japan has actually done better than the US or most European countries over the last decade.

Best of the Week: April 25 – May 1, 2010

10.  Noriega’s Last Laugh — Christopher Dickey and Atrocities in Afghanistan: A Troubling Timetable — Kathy Kelly & Dan Pearson
9. To Save the Eurozone: $1 Trillion, European Central Bank Reform, and a New Head for the IMF — Peter Boone & Simon Johnson and The European Experience with Large Fiscal Adjustments — Alcidi Cinzia & Daniel Gros
8. Climate Change Indicators in the United States: Summary of Findings — Nick Sundt and CCS Stunner: New Study Finds Geologic Sequestration “Is Not a Practical Means to Provide Any Substantive Reduction in CO2 Emissions” — Joseph Romm
7. Immigration Reform Is Working. Now We Need to Look at What Isn’t. — Edward Schumacher-Matos, To “Control the Border,” First Reform Immigration Law — Daniel Griswold, and The Predictable Tragedies of Arizona’s Anti-Immigration Law — Ezra Klein & Ta-Nehisi Coates
6. The Deficit: Nine Myths We Can’t Afford — Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Stephanie Kelton, L. Randall Wray, Marshall Auerback, Yeva Nersisyan, & Warren Mosler, Do Not Confuse Solvency with Sustainability — Pavlina R. Tcherneva, and Paul Samuelson on Deficit Myths — L. Randall Wray
5. Why Financial Reform Needs a Bank Tax — David LeonhardtWho’s Afraid of a Bank Tax? — David Leonhardt, and Endgame in the Financial Reforms — David Skeel
4. Return of the Death Squads — Jeremy Kryt and Are Aid Donors Now Running Haiti? — Daniel Altman
3. Nukes for Sale — Jeremy Bernstein and A New Start — Tara McKelvey
2. Chris Dodd’s Carve-Outs for Cronies — Mark A. Calabria and Big Business Pleads for Loopholes in Financial Regulatory Reform — Steven Pearlstein
1. Cruel Ethiopia — Helen Epstein and The State of Liberal Democracy in Africa: Resurgence or Retreat? — Tony Leon
BONUS: Chances Are — Steven Strogatz