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Price Expectations and Consumption under Deflation: Evidence from Japanese Household Survey Data

  • Masahiro Hori
  • Satoshi Shimizutani

The Japanese economy has experienced price deflation since the mid-1990s. Despite the importance of overcoming deflation, there has been little recent research on price expectations in Japan. This paper takes advantage of an original and rich quarterly household-level data set from the “Kokumin Seikatsu Monitors” to estimate average price expectations, examine the factors that affect price expectations, and examine how changes in price expectations have affected household consumption. Our estimates indicate that average price expectations ranged from minus 0.2 to zero percent in 2001 and 2002. However, there was an increase to 1 percent in the first quarter of 2003, followed by a decline to 0.2 percent in the second quarter, and a steady increase toward 0.8 percent by the first quarter of 2004. Price expectations depend on current price movements and lagged expectations. A series of quantitative easing monetary policies were not very effective in changing the price expectations, since the policy announcements caused revision of price expectations only for a small portion, i.e., 5-10% of people surveyed. The jump observed in the first quarter of 2003 was a reaction to the outbreak of the Iraq war. Our study also confirms that deflationary expectations discourage household consumption, mainly durable consumption, by delaying the timing of purchases, suggesting that the deflationary expectations should be upwardly revised to restore a vital Japanese economy.

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File URL: http://hi-stat.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2005/pdf/D05-98.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number d05-98.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:hst:hstdps:d05-98
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  1. Carlson, John A & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(166), pages 123-38, May.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information: A Model of Monetary Nonneutrality and Structural Slumps," NBER Working Papers 8614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kitamura, Yukinobu, 1997. "Indexed Bonds and Monetary Policy: The Real Interest Rate and the Expected Rate of Inflation," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 15(1), pages 1-25, May.
  5. repec:ime:imemes:v:22:y:2004:i:3:p:115-43 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1977. "What Depressed the Consumer? The Household Balance Sheet and the 1973-75 Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 123-174.
  7. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1978. "The Household Balance Sheet and the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(04), pages 918-937, December.
  8. John M. Roberts, 1998. "Inflation expectations and the transmission of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-43, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Kitamura, Yukinobu, 2004. "Information Content of Inflation-Indexed Bond Prices: Evaluation of U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protection Securities," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 22(3), pages 115-143, October.
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