Global Economics Update: Japan as Number 3
April 25, 2012
In 1995, a group of Cornell psychologists found that Olympic bronze medalists are typically happier than silver medalists about their position on the podium. The competitor in the number 2 spot cannot help thinking about how close he came to winning gold, while the person in third thinks, “Wow, I got a medal!”
By this standard, Japan—third in the global GDP standings since China overtook it in 2010—should feel good about itself. With nearly $6 trillion in annual output and many areas of competitive strength, Japan remains a heavyweight in the global economy.
Yet two recent reports from Tokyo raise serious doubts about how long Japan can remain on the GDP medal podium.