The Yen Exchange Rate and the Hollowing Out of the Japanese Industry

34 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2019

See all articles by Ansgar Hubertus Belke

Ansgar Hubertus Belke

University of Duisburg-Essen - Department of Economics and Business Administration; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for European Policy Studies

Ulrich Volz

University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - Economics; Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) - German Development Institute (DIE)

Abstract

Since the demise of the Bretton Woods system, the yen has seen several episodes of strong appreciation, including in the late 1970s, after the 1985 Plaza Agreement, the early and late 1990s and after 2008. These appreciations have not only been associated with "expensive yen recessions" resulting from negative effects on exports; since the late 1980s, the strong yen has also raised concerns about a de-industrialisation of the Japanese economy. Against this backdrop, the paper investigates the effects of changes to the yen exchange rate on the hollowing out of the Japanese industrial sector. To this end, the paper uses both aggregate and industry‐specific data to gauge the effects of yen fluctuations on the output and exports of different Japanese industries, exploiting new data for industry‐specific real effective exchange rates. Our findings support the view that the periods of yen appreciation had more than just transitory effects on Japanese manufacturing. The results also provide indication of hysteresis effects on manufacturing. While there are certainly also other factors that have contributed to a hollowing out of Japanese industry, a strong yen played a role, too.

Keywords: Yen appreciation, exchange rates, japanese manufacturing, hollowing out, hysteresis

JEL Classification: F31, O14

Suggested Citation

Belke, Ansgar Hubertus and Volz, Ulrich, The Yen Exchange Rate and the Hollowing Out of the Japanese Industry. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12565. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3445831

Ansgar Hubertus Belke (Contact Author)

University of Duisburg-Essen - Department of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Universitätsstr. 9
Essen, 45141
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for European Policy Studies ( email )

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

Ulrich Volz

University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - Economics

London, WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) - German Development Institute (DIE) ( email )

Tulpenfeld 4
Bonn, 53113
Germany

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