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Comments on "Price Stability and Japanese Monetary Policy."

  • Kuttner, Kenneth-N

    (Oberlin College)

Invoking the venerable quantity theory of money, Hetzel (2004) argues that central banks are not powerless to end deflation, even when short-term interest rates are zero. While agreeing with his overall conclusion that central banks do possess tools to fight deflation, this commentary points out that the six-fold expansion in current account balances over the past three years has thus far failed to have any discernable impact on the volume of M2 + CDs in Japan. This observation highlights an important obstacle to the direct implementation of the quantity theory's policy prescription when the zero lower bound on the short-term nominal interest rate is binding. Hetzel's proposal to link Japan's current account balance target is nonetheless a useful one, however, as it would represent a step toward a price level target.

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Article provided by Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan in its journal Monetary and Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 37-46

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Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:22:y:2004:i:3:p:37-46
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  1. Goodfriend, Marvin, 2000. "Overcoming the Zero Bound on Interest Rate Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 1007-35, November.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & Maurice Obstfeld, 2003. "The case for open-market purchases in a liquidity trap," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  3. Clouse James & Henderson Dale & Orphanides Athanasios & Small David H. & Tinsley P.A., 2003. "Monetary Policy When the Nominal Short-Term Interest Rate is Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-65, September.
  4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  5. Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "Theoretical analysis regarding a zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 870-935.
  6. Kenneth N. Kuttner & Adam S. Posen, 2001. "The Great Recession: Lessons for Macroeconomic Policy from Japan," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 93-186.
  7. Fujiki, Hiroshi & Okina, Kunio & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2004. "Comments on "Price Stability and Japanese Monetary Policy."," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 22(3), pages 25-36, October.
  8. Okina, Kunio, 1999. "Monetary Policy under Zero Inflation: A Response to Criticisms and Questions Regarding Monetary Policy," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 17(3), pages 157-182, December.
  9. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2003. "How to Fight Deflation in a Liquidity Trap: Committing to Being Irresponsible," IMF Working Papers 03/64, International Monetary Fund.
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