Saturday, July 23, 2011

Japan (3): Checking my Numbers

Source: Thought Offerings

The graph above is from hbl's post. It covers the years 1980 to 2007.

The graph below is my attempt to duplicate hbl's graph using the Excel file I talked about in the previous post. It covers 1980 to 2009.

Source: My Reconstruction of the Numbers

Wow. hbl's is prettier. Oh, well.

My intent is to see if my graph shows the same general trends as hbl's. It seems to be a pretty good duplicate. I take that to mean I followed the steps correctly, gathering and handling the data.

Looking at just the uppermost trend line, total debt, I do see a few little high spots that don't appear on hbl's graph: 1997, 2000, 2007. So I checked those and the adjacent years: compared the numbers I used for the graph to the original numbers from the original download file. Same numbers. I didn't glitch it. Probably the numbers just got updated since hbl did his study.

So now I have some Japan debt numbers I can use!

The result of my efforts is available at Google Docs in two forms:

The graphs are imperfect in the browse file -- no labels on the key (which kind of defeats the purpose!). The Excel file was created in OpenOffice.

1 comment:

hbl said...


Thanks for the note on my blog about the broken Cabinet Office link, and I'm glad you managed to round up the data anyway (please excuse this delayed reply).

My thinking has evolved a bit since I wrote that post two years ago on Japan's private debt. In general I think flows matter a lot more to most macroeconomic outcomes than stocks (quantities) (of course quantities do matter in some respects!) And if you're interested in more data-driven Japan comparisons, you might check out my posts on Mar 3 2010, Aug 31 2010, and Apr 12 2011.