RIETI Policy Symposium

Determinants of Total Factor Productivity and Japan's Potential Growth: An International Perspective


As Japan emerges from recession and its economy approaches cruising speed, the potential rate of growth of the Japanese economy is becoming an increasingly important factor in determining the path for restoring fiscal health and the timing for tightening up monetary policy.

In the meantime, it has been recognized that the main source of growth for Japan, which faces serious population decline in the coming years, is the increase in total factor productivity (TFP). Therefore it is urgent to recover Japanese TFP growth, which has been at a standstill since the 1990s. This stagnation in productivity growth and its increasing gap with the U.S. are not only recognized in Japan but also in Europe, which has led to a great deal of research in this area. With these issues in mind, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has compiled its "New Economic Growth Strategy" to show that "new growth" is possible even under an adverse environment of continuous population decrease, by strengthening international competitiveness and revitalizing regional economies.

This symposium will be based on the results of RIETI's projects on industry- and firm-level productivity and international comparison of productivity in the Pacific Rim countries, to discuss the following issues:

  • Which sectors have been leading TFP growth in Japan?
  • What are the determinants of the potential growth rate?
  • To what extent can factors such as regulatory reform, focusing resources on the IT industry, usage of IT by user-industries, improving service sector productivity, and the accumulation of human capital be counted on to increase the potential growth rate of the Japanese economy?
  • How much have the East Asian countries caught up with Japan in terms of productivity?
  • Why did TFP growth in Europe stagnate?

To this end, distinguished overseas researchers on TFP have also been invited to contribute to this conference.

In the second part, participants will then deepen the debate through a panel discussion comprised of experts and policymakers from within and outside of Japan.

It is hoped that with the participation of a wide range of practitioners and researchers, the outcome of this symposium will provide many insights to the future strategy of Japan's economic growth and productivity.


  • Time and Date:
    13:00-17:50 Tuesday, July 25, 2006
  • Venue:
    Conference Hall, Shinsei Bank, Shinsei Financial Center
    1st Floor, Head Office, 2-1-8 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
  • Language:
    Japanese / English (with simultaneous interpretation)
  • Charge: ¥2,000 (an official receipt will be issued)
    (Student discount ¥1,000. Please present your student ID at the reception desk.)
  • Hosts: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
  • Contact: RIETI
    Ms. Tomoko KASE
    Tel: 03-3501-8398 Fax: 03-3501-8416

* Streaming video footage of and handouts pertaining to the symposium will be available for downloading from the RIETI website after the event.
* Purpose of Use of Images

Agenda (subject to change)

Symposium Chair:
13:00-13:10 Opening Remarks:
YOSHITOMI Masaru (President and CRO, RIETI)
13:10-15:30 Presentation:
INUI Tomohiko (Professor, Nihon University College of Economics)
13:10-13:50 Presentation: "Determinants of TFP Growth and Potential Growth in Japan"
- MIYAGAWA Tsutomu (Former Faculty Fellow, RIETI / Professor, Faculty of Economics, Gakushuin University)
- FUKAO Kyoji (Faculty Fellow, RIETI / Professor, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)
13:50-14:10 Presentation: "Can the EU Catch Up with the US in Terms of the Level of Total Factor Productivity?"
Marcel P. TIMMER (Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Groningen)
14:10-14:30 Q&A
14:30-14:50 Presentation: "Japan's Potential Growth in a World Perspective"
Dale W. JORGENSON (Samuel W. Morris University Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University)
14:50-15:10 Presentation: "Japan's Potential Growth from an East Asian Perspective"
MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki (Faculty Fellow, RIETI/ Professor, Department of Technology Management for Innovation, The University of Tokyo)
15:10-15:30 Q&A
15:30-15:45 Coffee Break
15:45-17:45 Panel Discussion
NAGAOKA Sadao (Research Counselor, RIETI / Director and Professor, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University)
15:45-17:15 Panelists:
- YOSHIKAWA Hiroshi (Research Counselor, RIETI / Professor, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
- Dale W. JORGENSON (Samuel W. Morris University Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University)
- MORIKAWA Masayuki (Director, Industrial Structure Policy Division, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, METI)
- FUWA Hisayoshi (Corporate Vice President, General Manager for Corporate Strategic Planning Division, and General Manager for i cube Project Office of Innovation Division, Toshiba Corporation)
17:15-17:45 Q&A
17:45-17:50 Closing Remarks:
OIKAWA Kozo (Chairman, RIETI)
18:00-19:00 Reception
* The agenda is subject to change.