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Time of Troubles: The Yen and Japan's Economy, 1985-2008

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  • Maurice Obstfeld

Abstract

This paper explores the links between macroeconomic developments, especially monetary policy, and the exchange rate during the period of Japan's bubble economy and subsequent stagnation. The yen experienced epic gyrations over that period, starting with its rapid ascent after the March 1985 Plaza Accord of major industrial countries. Two distinct periods of endaka fukyo, or recession induced by a strong yen, occurred in the late 1980s and the early 1990s at critical phases of the monetary policy cycle. My approach emphasizes the interaction of short-term developments driven by monetary factors (as they affect international real interest rate differentials) and the long-term determinants of the real exchange rate's equilibrium path. Chief among those long-run determinants are relative sectoral productivity levels and the terms of trade, including the price of oil. Since the mid-1990s, the yen's real exchange rate has generally followed a depreciating trend and Japan's comprehensive terms of trade have deteriorated.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14816.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14816

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Cited by:
  1. Galstyan, Vahagn A. & Lane, Philip R., 2008. "The Composition of Government Spending and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 6903, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. ´He, Xinhua & Qin, Duo & Liu, Yimeng, 2011. "Exchange rate misalignments: A comparison of China today against recent historical experiences of Japan, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan," BOFIT Discussion Papers 22/2011, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  3. Benetrix, Agustin & Lane, Philip R., 2009. "The Impact of Fiscal Shocks on the Irish Economy," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(4), pages 407-434.
  4. André Mollick & Tibebe Assefa, 2013. "Carry-trades on the yen and the Swiss franc: are they different?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 402-423, July.
  5. Duo Qin & Xinhua He & Yimeng Liu, 2010. "Exchange Rate Misalignments: Historical Experience of Japan, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan Compared to China Today," Working Papers 667, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  6. Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2011. "Japan's Economic Recovery: Insights from Multi-Region Dynamics," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 11-13, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

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