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Liquidity Trap and the Stability of Money Demand: Is Japan Really Trapped at the Zero Bound?

  • Ryuzo Miyao

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

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    Is the Japanese economy really trapped at the zero interest rate bound? The question seems particularly important because recent theoretical discussions on liquidity traps suggest that undesirable dynamics such as "deflationary spiral" are likely to occur when the economy reaches the lower zero bound. This paper attempts to answer the above question by analyzing the stability of an equilibrium money demand relationship in Japan. Specifically, it performs a formal analysis on the presence and stability of cointegration in M1 demand in Japan and argues that the answer seems negative. With the double-log specification, a cointegrating M1 relationship exists and is found to be stable (i.e. no break in the interest elasticity) even after 1995 when nominal rates were lowered to a decimal point level or virtually "zero percent".

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    File URL: http://www.rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp/academic/ra/dp/English/dp127.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2002
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    Paper provided by Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 127.

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    Length: 20 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:127
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    1. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2000. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Departmental Working Papers 199925, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    2. Willem H. Buiter & Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, 1999. "Liquidity Traps: How to Avoid Them and How to Escape Them," NBER Working Papers 7245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "The perils of Taylor Rules," Departmental Working Papers 199831, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    4. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
    5. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-58, May.
    6. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Miyao, Ryuzo, 2000. "The Role of Monetary Policy in Japan: A Break in the 1990s?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 366-384, December.
    8. David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 1999. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low inflation era," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Banerjee, Anindya & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1992. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit-Root and Trend-Break Hypotheses: Theory and International Evidence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 271-87, July.
    10. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Thomas F. Cargill & Michael M. Hutchison & Takatoshi Ito, 2001. "Financial Policy and Central Banking in Japan," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262032856, June.
    13. Saikkonen, Pentti, 1991. "Asymptotically Efficient Estimation of Cointegration Regressions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(01), pages 1-21, March.
    14. Gregory, Allan W. & Hansen, Bruce E., 1996. "Residual-based tests for cointegration in models with regime shifts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-126, January.
    15. Osterwald-Lenum, Michael, 1992. "A Note with Quantiles of the Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Cointegration Rank Test Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 461-72, August.
    16. Fujiki, Hiroshi, 2002. "Money Demand near Zero Interest Rate: Evidence from Regional Data," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 20(2), pages 25-41, April.
    17. Ono, Yoshiyasu, 2001. "A Reinterpretation of Chapter 17 of Keynes's General Theory: Effective Demand Shortage under Dynamic Optimization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 207-36, February.
    18. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Lai, Kon S, 1993. "Finite-Sample Sizes of Johansen's Likelihood Ration Tests for Conintegration," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(3), pages 313-28, August.
    19. Fujiki, Hiroshi & Hsiao, Cheng & Shen, Yan, 2002. "Is There a Stable Money Demand Function under the Low Interest Rate Policy? A Panel Data Analysis," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 20(2), pages 1-23, April.
    20. Hondroyiannis, George & Swamy, P. A. V. B. & Tavlas, George S., 2000. "Is the Japanese economy in a liquidity trap?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 17-23, January.
    21. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
    22. Krugman, Paul, 2000. "Thinking About the Liquidity Trap," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 221-237, December.
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