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The Effects of the Bank of Japan's Zero Interest Rate Commitment and Quantitative Monetary Easing on the Yield Curve: A Macro-Finance Approach (subsequently published in "The Japanese Economic Review", September 2007, Vol. 58, No. 3, 303-328)

  • Nobuyuki Oda

    (Monetary Affairs Department, Bank of Japan)

  • Kazuo Ueda

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

This paper provides an empirical investigation of monetary policy in Japan in the zero interest rate environment that has held sway since 1999. In particular, we focus on the effects of the zero interest rate commitment and of quantitative monetary easing on mediumto long-term interest rates in Japan. In the study we apply a version of the macro-finance approach, involving a combination of estimation of a structural macro-model and calibration of time-variant parameters to the yield curve observed in the market. This enables us to decompose interest rates into expectations and risk premium components and simultaneously to extract the market's perception of the Bank of Japan's (BOJ's) willingness to carry on its zero interest rate policy. In the analysis we make clear the counterfactual policy that would have been practiced in the absence of the actual policies followed by the BOJ since 1999. From this analysis, we tentatively conclude that the BOJ's monetary policy since 1999 has functioned mainly through the zero interest rate commitment, which has led to declines in medium- to long-term interest rates. We also find some evidence that, up until the end of 2003, raising the reserve target may have been perceived as a signal indicating the BOJ's accommodative policy stance although the size of the effect is not large. The portfolio rebalancing effect -- either by the BOJ's supplying ample liquidity or by its purchases of long-term government bonds -- has not been found to be significant.

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Paper provided by Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo in its series CARF F-Series with number CARF-F-031.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfi:fseres:cf031
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  1. McCulloch, J Huston, 1971. "Measuring the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 19-31, January.
  2. Oda, Nobuyuki & Okina, Kunio, 2001. "Further Monetary Easing Policies under the Non-negativity Constraints of Nominal Interest Rates: Summary of the Discussion Based on Japan's Experience," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 323-360, February.
  3. Svensson, Lars, 2000. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Seminar Papers 687, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Fujiki, Hiroshi & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2002. "Policy Duration Effect under the Zero Interest Rate Policy in 1999-2000: Evidence from Japan's Money Market Data," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 20(1), pages 1-31, January.
  5. Andrew Ang & Monika Piazzesi, 2001. "A No-Arbitrage Vector Autoregression of Term Structure Dynamics with Macroeconomic and Latent Variables," NBER Working Papers 8363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Okina, Kunio & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2004. "Policy commitment and expectation formation: Japan's experience under zero interest rates," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 75-100, March.
  7. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2004. "Conducting Monetary Policy at Very Low Short-Term Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 85-90, May.
  8. Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Yields and the Federal Reserve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 311-344, April.
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