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Japan's Fiscal CrisisThe Ministry of Finance and the Politics of Public Spending, 1975-2000$
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Maurice Wright

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250530

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250530.001.0001

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A ‘Public Works State’

A ‘Public Works State’

(p.419) 23 A ‘Public Works State’
Japan's Fiscal Crisis

Maurice Wright

Oxford University Press

Historically, Japan invested, and continues to invest, a greater proportion of its gross domestic product (GDP) in gross fixed capital formation than comparable industrialized countries. General government gross fixed capital formation accounted for about a fifth of the total, but on a rising trend in the 1990s, reaching 6.7% of GDP in fiscal year 1995, as government made repeated attempts to kick-start the economy with public works spending. As private investment declined after the collapse of the bubble economy, general government claimed an increasing proportion. Public investment by central government was planned and financed partly through the General Account Budget, partly through the Fiscal Investment Loan Programme (FILP), and partly through some of the thirty-eight Special Accounts. Some of the public investment schemes financed by public banks and finance corporations, and public corporations and special companies, apart from substantial FILP funding, were self-financed and/or financed by approved borrowing in domestic and overseas capital markets. This chapter discusses how Japan had become a public works state by the 1990s.

Keywords:   bubble economy, public works, gross domestic product, private investment, public investment, fixed capital formation, General Account Budget, public works state, budgets

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