The Mistake of 1937: A General Equilibrium Analysis
This paper studies a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with sticky prices and rational expectations in an environment of low interest rates and deflationary pressures. We show that small changes in the public fs beliefs about the future inflation target of the government can lead to large swings in both inflation and output. This effect is much larger at low interest rates than under regular circumstances. This highlights the importance of effective communication policy at zero interest rates. We argue that confusing communications by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the President of the United States, and key administration officials about future price objectives were responsible for the sharp recession in the United States in 1937?38, one of the sharpest recessions in U.S. economic history. Poor communication policy is the mistake of 1937. Before committing the mistake of 1937, the U.S. policymakers faced economic conditions that are similar in some respects to those confronted by Japanese policymakers in the first half of 2006.
Volume (Year): 24 (2006)
Issue (Month): S1 (December)
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- Aubhik Khan & Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2002.
"Optimal monetary policy,"
02-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Papers 01-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Paper 00-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2002. "Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 9402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael D. Bordo & Andrew Filardo, 2004.
"Deflation and Monetary Policy in a Historical Perspective: Remembering the Past or Being Condemned to Repeat It?,"
NBER Working Papers
10833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
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