The Corner

Japan

John, I don’t think that your point really works. In effect, what Mark was saying was that labor shortages can, in many cases, be resolved by automation. That’s true, obviously. Contrary to what you are hinting, I doubt if differences in immigration policy can do much to explain the very differing economic performances of Japan and the U.S. over the last 15 years. Japan “simply” went through a very nasty deflationary slump. Adding new workers (particularly at a time when unemployment was moving up) would haven’t done much to change that.

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