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The sovereign debt crisis: why Greece, but not Japan?

Naoyuki Yoshino () and Uwe Vollmer ()

Asia Europe Journal, 2014, vol. 12, issue 3, 325-344

Abstract: This paper asks why Japan has not yet suffered from a sovereign debt crisis, although its gross public debt as a percentage of GDP is much higher than in Greece. We use a simple stylized model to explain the occurrence of both a fundamental and a speculative debt crisis. We apply this model to both countries and derive some hypotheses about why investors are still ready to hold Japanese Government Bonds. In particular, we point to the significance of domestic debt holdings, to the central bank’s government debt purchases, to investors’ access to “safe havens,” and to the role of an autonomous monetary policy. We also analyze potential challenges to Japan’s long-term fiscal situation, resulting from its aging population. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Keywords: Sovereign debt crisis; Budget deficits; Heteronomous monetary policy; Consumption tax (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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