IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jhu/papers/511.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Monetary Policy and the Dangers of Deflation:Lessons from Japan

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Leigh

Abstract

This paper investigates how monetary policy can help to avoid the liquidity trap by studying the experience of Japan. First, I analyze how the Bank of Japan conducted interest rate policy over the 1990s as the economy entered a deflationary slump. I use a new method of estimating the policy rule with a time-varying inflation target and a time-varying natural rate of interest. The estimation strategy reveals that the Bank’s implicit inflation target declined to about 1% in the 1990s from about 2.5% in the 1980s. I also find that the policy rule respects the Taylor principle and is forward looking. Such a Taylor rule does not depart from what was perceived as current best practice. It thus seems that the problem arose because of a series of adverse shocks and not because of an extraordinary monetary policy mistake. Next, I investigate whether an alternative monetary policy rule could have avoided the liquidity trap despite these shocks. I find that targeting a higher rate of inflation of 2-3% would not have provided much protection against hitting the zero bound on nominal interest rates. Similarly, a policy of responding more aggressively to the inflation gap while keeping the low inflation target would have provided little improvement in economic performance. The economy also still enters the trap under a nonlinear policy rule that commits the central bank to keeping interest rates at zero even after the economy begins to recover. However, I find that a rule that combined both (i) a higher inflation target of about 3%, and (ii) a more aggressive response to the inflation gap would have improved the economy’s performance and avoided the zero bound.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Leigh, 2004. "Monetary Policy and the Dangers of Deflation:Lessons from Japan," Economics Working Paper Archive 511, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:511
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://econ.jhu.edu/wp-content/uploads/pdf/papers/WP511leigh.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy: Expanded Version," NBER Technical Working Papers 0233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-442, October.
    3. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 454-454, October.
    4. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
    5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Efficient Monetary Policy Design near Price Stability," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 327-365, December.
    6. Kato, Ryo & Nishiyama, Shin-Ichi, 2005. "Optimal monetary policy when interest rates are bounded at zero," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 97-133, January.
    7. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1998. "An Optimising Model for Monetary Policy Analysis: Can Habit Formation Help?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9812, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    8. David E. Runkle, 1987. "Vector autoregressions and reality," Staff Report 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    9. Svensson, Lars-E-O, 2001. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 277-312, February.
    10. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    11. Günter Coenen & Volker Wieland, 2002. "Inflation Dynamics and International Linkages: A Model of the United States, the Euro Area and Japan," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 240, Society for Computational Economics.
    12. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2002. "Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 402-432, April.
    13. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 445-462, August.
    14. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    15. Adam Posen, 2003. "It Takes More Than a Bubble to Become Japan," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Anthony Richards & Tim Robinson (ed.), Asset Prices and Monetary Policy Reserve Bank of Australia.
    16. Coenen Günter & Orphanides Athanasios & Wieland Volker, 2004. "Price Stability and Monetary Policy Effectiveness when Nominal Interest Rates are Bounded at Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-25, February.
    17. Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "Alternative monetary policy rules : a comparison with historical settings for the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 49-79.
    18. Benjamin Hunt & Douglas Laxton, 2004. "The Zero Interest Rate Floor (ZIF) and its Implications for Monetary Policy in Japan," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 187(1), pages 76-92, January.
    19. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 535-563, June.
    20. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
    21. Shigenori Shiratsuka, 1999. "Measurement errors in Japanese Consumer Price Index," Working Paper Series WP-99-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    22. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    23. David L. Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2000. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low-inflation era," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 936-978.
    24. Adam S. Posen, 2003. "Is Germany Turning Japanese?," Working Paper Series WP03-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    25. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 9968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Rules with Unknown Natural Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 63-146.
    27. David E. Lebow & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2001. "Measurement error in the consumer price index: where do we stand?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    28. Reifschneider, David & Willams, John C, 2000. "Three Lessons for Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Era," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 936-966, November.
    29. 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.
    30. Lawrence Huiyan Zhang, 2001. "Sacrifice Ratios with Long-Lived Effects," Economics Working Paper Archive 446, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    31. Kim, Soyoung, 1999. "Do monetary policy shocks matter in the G-7 countries? Using common identifying assumptions about monetary policy across countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 387-412, August.
    32. Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2003. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1063-1070, November.
    33. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
    34. Miyao, Ryuzo, 2002. "The Effects of Monetary Policy in Japan," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 376-392, May.
    35. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-159.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kitov, Ivan & KItov, Oleg, 2013. "Inflation, unemployment, and labor force. Phillips curves and long-term projections for Japan," MPRA Paper 49388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Laurence M. Ball, 2006. "Fiscal Remedies for Japan's Slump," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy with Very Low Inflation in the Pacific Rim, NBER-EASE, Volume 15, pages 279-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daniel Leigh, 2005. "Estimating the Revealed Inflation Target: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 177, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. Leigh, Daniel, 2008. "Estimating the Federal Reserve's implicit inflation target: A state space approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 2013-2030, June.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:511. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (None). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dejhuus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.