Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Monetary Policy and Japan’s Liquidity Trap

Contents:

Author Info

  • Lars E.O. Svensson

    (Princeton University, CEPR, and NBER)

Abstract

During the long economic slump in Japan, monetary policy in Japan has essentially consisted of a very low interest rate (since 1995), a zero interest rate (since 1999), and quantitative easing (since 2001). The intention seems to have been to lower expectations of future interest rates. But the problem in a liquidity trap (when the zero lower bound on the central bank’s instrument rate is strictly binding) is rather to raise private-sector expectations of the future price level. Increased expectations of a higher future price level are likely to be much more effective in reducing the real interest rate and stimulating the economy out of a liquidity trap than a further reduction of already very low expectations of future interest rates. Therefore, monetarypolicy alternatives in a liquidity trap should be assessed according to how effective they are likely to be in affecting private-sector expectations of the future price level. Expectations of a higher future price level would lead to current depreciation of the currency. Quantitative easing would induce expectations of a higher price level if it were expected to be permanent. The absence of a depreciation of the yen and other evidence indicates that the quantitative easing is not expected to be permanent. In an open economy, the Foolproof Way (consisting of a price-level target path, currency depreciation and commitment to a currency peg and a zero interest rate until the price-level target path has been reached) is likely to be the most effective policy to raise expectations of the future price level, stimulate the economy, and escape from a liquidity trap. It is the first-best policy to end stagnation and deflation in Japan. The Foolproof Way without the explicit exchange-rate policy, namely a price-level target path and a commitment to a zero interest rate until the price-level target path has been reached, would be a second-best policy. The current policy, a commitment to a zero interest rate until inflation has become nonnegative is at best a third-best policy, since it accommodates all deflation that has occurred before inflation turns nonnegative and therefore is not effective in inducing inflation expectations.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/ceps/workingpapers/126svensson.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 76.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:126svensson

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
Phone: (609) 258-5765
Fax: (609) 258-5398
Email:
Web page: http://www.princeton.edu/~ceps/index.htm
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "Theoretical Analysis Regarding a Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 7677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Auerbach, Alan J. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 2012. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt84s7d8c8, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Mark R. Stone & Charles Frederick Kramer, 2005. "A Post-Reflation Monetary Framework for Japan," IMF Working Papers 05/73, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Jung, Taehun & Teranishi, Yuki & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy at the Zero-Interest-Rate Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 813-35, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:126svensson. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Long).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.