Understanding the Great Japan Freakout

Plus! Retail Sales, China and India, Theaters, Leverage, Italy, Externalities, Email

From the 1970s through the early 1990s, America collectively lost its mind about Japan. At one level, this was prudent: Japanese GDP per capita grew from 16% of US levels in 1960 to 39% in 1970 and 75% by 1980. Exports were a big part of this, and Japan’s most prominent exports were iconic products like cars and novel ones like consumer electronics…

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