Is Downward Wage Flexibility the Primary Factor of Japan's Prolonged Deflation?

Sachiko Kuroda, Isamu Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


By using both macro- and micro-level data, this paper investigates how wages and prices evolved during Japan's lost two decades. We find that downward nominal wage rigidity was present in Japan until the late 1990s, but disappeared after 1998 as annual wages became downwardly flexible. Moreover, nominal wage flexibility may have contributed to Japan's relatively low unemployment rates. Although macro-level movements in nominal wages and prices seemed to be synchronized, such synchronicity is not observed at the industry level. Therefore, wage deflation does not seem to be a primary factor of Japan's prolonged deflation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-158
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Economic Policy Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan


  • Deflation
  • Downward nominal wage rigidity
  • Japan's lost two decades
  • Japanese labor market
  • Unit labor cost

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics,Econometrics and Finance
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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