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Exchange Rate Adjustment, Monetary Policy and Fiscal Stimulus in Japan's Escape from the Great Depression

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Author Info

  • Masahiko Shibamoto

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

  • Masato Shizume

    (Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan)

Abstract

A veteran finance minister, Takahashi Korekiyo, brought an early recovery for Japan from the Great Depression of the 1930s by prescribing a combination of expansionary fiscal, exchange rate, and monetary policies. To explore the comprehensive transmission mechanism of Takahashi's macroeconomic policy package, including the expectation channel, we construct a structural vector auto-regression (S-VAR) model with three state variables (output, price, and the inflation expectations) and three policy variables (fiscal balance, exchange rate, and money stock). Our analysis reveals that the exchange rate adjustment undertaken as an independent policy tool had the strongest effect, and that changes in people's expectations played a significant role for escaping from the Great Depression. During the second half of 1931, in particular, speculation on Japan's departure from the gold standard and the inflation that was likely to follow reversed the existing expectations: instead of expecting deflation, people began to expect inflation, months ahead of the actual departure from the gold standard. As a whole, the choice of the level of the exchange rate was crucial for changing people's expectations as well as promoting exports.

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File URL: http://www.rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp/academic/ra/dp/English/DP2014-12.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number DP2014-12.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2014-12

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Keywords: Great depression; Japanese economy; Macroeconomic policy; Expectation; Vector auto-regressive model; Commodity futures;

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References

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  1. Okura, Masanori & Teranishi, Juro, 1994. "Exchange Rate and Economic Recovery of Japan in the 1930s," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, June.
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  3. Cha, Myung Soo, 2003. "Did Takahashi Korekiyo Rescue Japan from the Great Depression?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(01), pages 127-144, March.
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