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The Great Inflation and Early Disinflation in Japan and Germany

  • Nelson, Edward

This paper considers the Great Inflation of the 1970s in Japan and Germany. From 1975 onward these countries had low inflation relative to other large economies. Traditionally, this success is attributed to stronger discipline on the part of Japan and Germany’s monetary authorities - for example, more willingness to accept temporary unemployment, or stronger determination not to monetize government deficits. I instead attribute the success of these countries from the mid-1970s to their governments’ and monetary authorities’ acceptance that inflation is a monetary phenomenon. Their higher inflation in the first half of the 1970s is attributable to the fact that their policymakers over this period embraced non-monetary theories of inflation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6156.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6156
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  1. Franz, Wolfgang & Gordon, Robert J, 1993. "German and American Wage and Price Dynamics: Differences and Common Themes," CEPR Discussion Papers 777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2006. "Inflation targeting under imperfect knowledge," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Laurence Ball, 1994. "What Determines the Sacrifice Ratio?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 155-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert L. Hetzel, 1999. "Japanese monetary policy: a quantity theory perspective," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 1-26.
  6. Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  7. Coenen, Gunter & Levin, Andrew T. & Christoffel, Kai, 2007. "Identifying the influences of nominal and real rigidities in aggregate price-setting behavior," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2439-2466, November.
  8. Thomas M. Humphrey, 1985. "The early history of the Phillips curve," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sep, pages 17-24.
  9. Issing, Otmar, 1997. "Monetary targeting in Germany: The stability of monetary policy and of the monetary system," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 67-79, June.
  10. Gerberding, Christina & Seitz, Franz & Worms, Andreas, 2005. "How the Bundesbank really conducted monetary policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 277-292, December.
  11. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
  12. Christina D. Romer, 2005. "Commentary on "Origins of the Great Inflation"," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 177-186.
  13. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2002. "The evolution of economic understanding and postwar stabilization policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 11-78.
  14. J. M. Culbertson, 1960. "Friedman on the Lag in Effect of Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, pages 617.
  15. Otmar Issing, 2005. "Why did the Great Inflation not happen in Germany?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 329-336.
  16. Edward Nelson, 2004. "The Great Inflation of the seventies: what really happened?," Working Papers 2004-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  17. Carl Walsh, 2003. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 265-278, March.
  18. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1996. "What Does the Bundesbank Target?," NBER Working Papers 5764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Clarida, R. & Gertler, M., 1996. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," Working Papers 96-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  20. Taylor, John B., 1989. "Differences in economic fluctuations in Japan and the United States: The role of nominal rigidities," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 127-144, June.
  21. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:111-44 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
  23. Franz, Wolfgang & Gordon, Robert J., 1993. "German and American wage and price dynamics: Differences and common themes," Discussion Papers 2, University of Konstanz, Center for International Labor Economics (CILE).
  24. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
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