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Date and Location

March 3, 2020
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET
B-503 (m-rcbg Conference Room)


Abenomics: Explaining It, Assessing It, and Telling the Untold Story Photo

​When Shinzo Abe became Japan’s prime minister for the second time in December 2012, he captured the attention of the country and the world by launching “Abenomics,” a three-pronged economic program aimed at ending deflation and kickstarting growth in what was widely perceived as a moribund economy. The three “arrows” of Abenomics were: aggressive monetary policy easing under the leadership of the governor of the Bank of Japan installed by PM Abe, Haruhiko Kuroda; “flexible” fiscal policy management; and a comprehensive growth strategy involving policies to promote innovation, to encourage more women to enter the workforce, to reform corporate governance, to allow more foreign workers into the country, and more.

What is the right way to think about Abenomics in economic policy terms? After seven years, to what extent has Abenomics worked?; what has worked and not worked, and why? 
During the tenure of PM Abe, the consumption tax rate has been doubled, in two stages, from 5% to 10%, and the Bank of Japan has had to take progressively more and more aggressive and radical monetary policy actions, culminating (from September 2016) in its targeting 10-year JGB yields at around zero percent and committing to continue to expand the monetary base until CPI inflation is firmly above 2%. 
Is there another way to tell the Abenomics story? Was Abenomics just a brilliant political marketing ploy and a “Trojan Horse” to allow the powerful fiscal hawks in Japan to pursue fiscal consolidation under the cover of the BOJ’s dramatic monetary policy easing? 
This Study Group will cast light on these and related questions, drawing on Paul Sheard’s four decades of experience analyzing the Japanese economy as an academic researcher and financial markets economist.  
Background reading:
Paul Sheard, 2013: “All You Need To Know About ‘Abenomics,’” Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services RatingsDirect, June 12, 13pp:

Paul Sheard, 2013: “The Bull’s-Eye Of The Third Arrow Of Abenomics,” Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services RatingsDirect, November 8, 11pp:

Speakers and Presenters

Paul Sheard