Tokyo Center for Economic Research


We are pleased to inform you that the 16th Macro Conference will be held at Keio University’s Mita Campus on Saturday-Sunday, November 29-30, 2014. If you are interested in submitting a paper to the conference, please send your paper by email as an attached file to all the four program committee members shown below. There will be no particular topic for this conference, and any macroeconomics-related paper will be welcome, whether it is theoretical or empirical.

The conference will receive financial supports this year from the Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER), Faculty of Economics, Keio University, the UTokyo Price Project, Research Center for Economic and Social Risks, Hitotsubashi University, Research Grant: “Japan’s international adjustments under the aging and population decline”, and the Institute of Social and Economic Research of Osaka University.

The deadline of submission is Sunday, August 31, 2014 (Japan time). Full papers are preferred but a 10-page abstract is also acceptable. Also, please suggest two individuals as designated discussants, although it is not necessary to contact them in advance. In either case, please make sure to send your full paper to the four program committee members and to the designated discussant by Friday, October 31, 2014 (Japan time). We will inform you of our decision on or around Tuesday, September 30, 2014.

We will pay the travel and lodging expenses of all paper presenters, designated discussants, and chairpersons. However, we may not be able to pay for the travel expenses of those coming from abroad.

We look forward to receiving many interesting submissions.

With best wishes,

Co-Sponsors/Organizing Committee
Naohito Abe, Tokuo Iwaisako (Hitotsubashi University)
Yoshiyasu Ono (Osaka University)
Masaya Sakuragawa (Keio University)
Tsutomu Watanabe (University of Tokyo)

Program Committee (to which submissions should be sent)
Kosuke Aoki (University of Tokyo)
Kazuo Ogawa (Osaka University)
Etsuro Shioji (Hitotsubashi University)
Yasuo Hirose (Keio University)
(Please send your paper to all four of us, simultaneously.)

20. June 2014

The Latest TCER Working Papers

May 2014
An Equilibrium Foundation of the Soros Chart

Takashi Kano and Hiroshi Morita

The most prominent characteristic of the Japanese yen/U.S. dollar nominal exchange rate in the post-Plaza Accord era is its near random-walk behavior sharing a common stochastic trend with the monetary base differential, which is augmented by the excess reserves, between Japan and the United States. In this paper, we develop a simple two-country incomplete-market model equipped with a specification of domestic reserve markets to structurally investigate this anecdotal evidence known as the Soros chart. In this model, we theoretically verify that a market discount factor close to one generates near random-walk behavior of an equilibrium nominal exchange rate in accordance with a permanent I(1) component of the augmented monetary base differential as an economic fundamental. Results of a Bayesian posterior simulation with post-Plaza Accord data of Japan and the United States plausibly support our model as a data generating process of the Japanese yen/U.S. dollar exchange rate.
[Click for the pdf]

May 2014
The educational upgrading of Japanese youth, 1982-2007: Are Japanese youth ready for structural reforms?

Yoichi Arai, Hidehiko Ichimura and Daiji Kawaguchi

Are Japanese youth ready for the structural reforms proposed as a supply-side policy of Abenomics? To answer this question, we assess how well Japanese youth have coped with the labor market’s long-term structural changes, induced primarily by deepening interdependence with emerging economies and rapid technological progress over the last three decades. We feature the role of educational upgrading on the labor-market outcomes of youth between the ages of 25 and 29, using six waves of micro data from the Employment Status Survey spanning from 1982 to 2007. The analysis demonstrates that the secular demand growth for skilled labor has been met by the educational upgrading of youth through the expansion of tertiary education, including education in vocational schools. The educational upgrading of Japanese youth has helped keep the youth employment rate relatively high compared with that of other developed countries, even in the long-term economic malaise.
[Click for the pdf]

May 2014
The effectiveness of vehicle emission control policies: Evidence from Japanese experience

Kazuyuki Iwata, Toshi H. Arimura and Tetsuya Shimane

Governments in developed countries have implemented various regulations to manage air pollutants from automobiles, such as emission standards and subsidies for low emission vehicles. Japan is a unique example of a country that has overcome the severe air pollution of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) through the mandatory retirement of old, high emission vehicles in metropolitan areas. To date, however, it is not clear which policy instruments have been effective in mitigating the air pollution from automobiles. The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the effectiveness of policy instruments in attaining cleaner air in Japanese metropolitan areas. Using data from 1990 to 2005, we estimate the concentration functions of NOx and PM using a spatial econometric model. We find that most regulations and subsidies decreased the concentration levels of both pollutants. Traditional emission standards were found to be more effective than other policy instruments. Vehicle replacement subsidies were more cost-effective than those for PM-removal equipment. Furthermore, the empirical results indicate that the effect of subsidies for vehicle replacement on one municipality。ッs air had spillover effects by improving the pollutant concentrations in the surrounding municipal areas.
[Click for the pdf]

May 2014
Do Social Norms Matter to Energy Saving Behavior? Endogenous Social and Correlated Effects

Toshi H. Arimura, Hajime Katayama and Mari Sakudo

Social norms have received growing attention as a potential driver for pro-environmental behavior, partly due to ample evidence based on survey data. Using data from a Japanese household survey on energy saving behavior, we estimate a structural model of social interactions that account for methodological issues inherent in survey data, namely: simultaneity, common shocks and nonrandom group selection. We find that the influence of social norms on energy saving behavior is small or insignificant, while estimates from standard methods in the literature are found to be large and highly significant. Our results suggest that evidence in previous survey-based studies may reflect correlation in unobserved characteristics between members in a group, not the influence of social norms.
[Click for the pdf]

02. June 2014

[News] Call for papers: Unconventional Policy and Emerging Economies

TCER (Tokyo Center of Economic Research) and Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETOR) plan to have a conference on “The Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policy on Emerging Economies”. As the theme shows, our main interest is to see what impacts recent unconventional monetary expansion in developed countries had on various emerging economies. We accept any paper that analyzes the related topics. The conference will be held at the University of Tokyo in March 2015. If you are interested in contributing a paper for the conference, send your first draft to by the end of November 2014.

A special issue of the Developing Economies (DE) on the conference theme will be published under the Guest Editorship. Authors whose papers are presented at the conference are supposed to submit their papers to the DE special issue. Papers submitted for this special issue will undergo the normal journal reviewing process.

DE is an academic journal published by WILEY-BLACKWELL and has ISI impact factor. Its details are available at

April 21, 2014
Shin-ichi Fukuda, Professor, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Etsuro Shioji, Professor, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

20. April 2014