Who could have imagined the miserable performance the Japanese economy has displayed since the 1990s? The average real GDP growth rate during the 1990s was 1.4 per cent, and the unemployment rate reached 5 per cent in July 2001. The recession period after the bursting of the bubble in 1991 has been called the lost ten years. What was wrong during that time? Many hypotheses have been presented: demand shortage, policy failure, bad loans, and a pessimistic view of the future. The truth may not be known for another ten years.
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