Revisiting Japan's External Adjustment Since 1985


Guy M Meredith

Publication Date:

June 1, 1993

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


The factors that explain Japan’s external performance since the mid-1980s are controversial. While the current account surplus eventually declined following exchange rate changes in 1985-86, a widening since 1990 has led to renewed scepticism about the role of relative price movements in bringing about external adjustment. This paper revisits the post-1985 experience to determine whether it can be explained by traditional factors. The results indicate that, over the period as a whole, the behavior of trade volumes and prices was similar to that predicted by traditional relationships. In particular, relative price movements played an important role in reducing the surplus: in their absence, it would have widened further.


Working Paper No. 1993/052



Publication Date:

June 1, 1993



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