Monday, April 21, 2008

Recent Macroeconomics in Japan

Recently (especially since the 1990s) the research on macroeconomics has become popular in Japan. The reason for this seems to be behind the long-lasting recession in the 1990s in Japan, especially, the heated discussion about expansionary monetary policy to cure the deflationary economy in the 1990s, such as the zero-interest-rate policy to lead the call rate to almost zero, and inflation targeting to lead the rate of price change to a particular rate of inflation, say,2-3%.

I am not a professional macroeconomist yet, but I believe that the level of research on macroeconomics in Japan is approaching gradually that in the United States.

Unfortunately, many students of macroeconomics don't seem to know about the recent macroeconomics in Japan. Of course, in many academic journals of economics, say, JPE, QJE, Econometrica, EJ, AER and so on, there are few Japanese economists. However, some Japanese economists write good graduate-level textbooks of macroeconomics.

One of them that I like most is one written by Saito Makoto of Hitotsubashi University, "New Macroeconomics".

He was a scholar of the University of British Columbia(UBC) in Canada and a student of Blanchard, an author of still great macroeconomics textbook and professor of MIT.

Although this book has been greatly influenced by Blanchard's macro text, Lectures on Macroeconomics, it is worth reading carefully. However, it has not been translated into English yet. I think that it should be translated into English and read by many grad students studying in the United States.

Japan, as you know, is the second largest economic country and it seems quite strange that economics research in Japan is not still so common across the whole world.

One of the reasons for it may be the wall of language: many textbooks written by Japanese economists are good, but unfortunately in Japanese, and moreover the lectures of economics at universities are conducted in Japanese.

If they were all in English, the Japanese economics would be much more common in the world. They should be in English as soon as possible, I hope.

Anyway, I try to report in English later what Prof. Saito says in his text. However, needless to say, it is copyrighted and so I have to say that I must not translate it and copy it in this blog.
I always have to keep it in mind when I write something important in economics.

No comments: