IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/fip/fedker/y2009iqiiip67-98nv.94no.3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Was monetary policy optimal during past deflation scares?

Author

Listed:
  • Roberto M. Billi

Abstract

Countries around the world have fallen into one of the deepest recessions since the Great Depression—a recession exacerbated by a severe financial crisis. Among the challenges that face monetary policymakers in such uncertain times is the danger that economies worldwide, including the United States, Japan, and the Euro Area, may enter a period of deflation, in which the prices of goods and services fall relentlessly. ; Policymakers and economists agree that sustained deflation would likely worsen the already fragile economic and financial environment. Past episodes of deflation in the wake of financial crises have included falling asset values, collapsing business and consumer confidence, credit crunches, widespread bankruptcies, long-lasting surges in unemployment, and other adverse conditions. Moreover, a deflationary environment has the potential to complicate the conduct of monetary policy. ; Policymakers have responded vigorously to the current crisis to prevent deflation. Some analysts warn that the U.S. policy response might be too proactive and cause a subsequent surge in inflation. At the same time, other analysts advise that the policy response in many other countries might not be active enough to fend off deflation. Of course, it is too early to judge the success of the different policies in the current episode. Still, it is possible to learn from past attempts by policymakers to fend off deflation under similar economic circumstances. ; Billi shows how Taylor rules can be used to evaluate monetary policy. He then compares actual policy during past deflation scares—in Japan in the 1990s and in the United States in the 2000s—with how policy would have been conducted using Taylor rules based, to the extent possible, on data available at the time. The rule-based evidence suggests that Japan’s monetary policy response during its deflation scare might have been too weak, while the U.S. response might have been too strong.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto M. Billi, 2009. "Was monetary policy optimal during past deflation scares?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 67-98.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2009:i:qiii:p:67-98:n:v.94no.3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.kansascityfed.org/Publicat/EconRev/PDF/09q3billi.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
    2. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002. "The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
    3. Kamada, Koichiro, 2005. "Real-time estimation of the output gap in Japan and its usefulness for inflation forecasting and policymaking," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-332, December.
    4. Kuttner, Kenneth N. & Posen, Adam S., 2004. "The difficulty of discerning what's too tight: Taylor rules and Japanese monetary policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 53-74, March.
    5. Michael Bordo & Andrew Filardo, 2005. "Deflation and monetary policy in a historical perspective: remembering the past or being condemned to repeat it?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 799-844, October.
    6. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
    7. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    8. Ippei Fujiwara, Naoko Hara, Naohisa Hirakata, Takeshi Kimura, and Shinichiro Watanabe, 2007. "Japanese Monetary Policy during the Collapse of the Bubble Economy: A View of Policymaking under Uncertainty," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 25(2), pages 89-128, November.
    9. Mise, Emi & Kim, Tae-Hwan & Newbold, Paul, 2005. "On suboptimality of the Hodrick-Prescott filter at time series endpoints," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 53-67, March.
    10. Richard H. Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    11. Okina, Kunio & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2002. "Asset Price Bubbles, Price Stability, and Monetary Policy: Japan' s Experience," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 20(3), pages 35-76, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Leo Krippner, 2009. "A theoretical foundation for the Nelson and Siegel class of yield curve models," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2009/10, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    2. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Output gaps and monetary policy at low interest rates," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I.
    3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2010. "Modeling inflation after the crisis," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 173-220.
    4. Mehrotra, Aaron & Sánchez-Fung, José R., 2011. "Assessing McCallum and Taylor rules in a cross-section of emerging market economies," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 207-228, April.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2009:i:qiii:p:67-98:n:v.94no.3. 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: (LDayrit). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbkcus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.