The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Japan's aging and shrinking population could lower the natural rate of interest and, together with low inflation expectations, challenge the Bank of Japan's efforts to reflate the economy. This paper uses a semi-structural model to estimate the impact of demographics on the natural rate in Japan. We find that demographic change has a significantly negative impact on the natural rate by lowering trend potential growth. We also find that the negative impact has been increasing over time amid stronger demographic headwinds. These findings highlight the importance of boosting potential growth to offset the negative demographic impact and lift the natural rate in Japan.