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A Myth of "the Keynesian before Keynes:" Low Interest Rate Policy in the Early 1930s in Japan


  • Masato Shizume

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


Departing from the gold standard was the necessary condition for early recovery from the Great Depression in 1930s (Eichengreen and Sachs[1985]). Then, was it the sufficient condition for an independent monetary policy? I explore Japan's monetary policy during the interwar period, focusing on the macroeconomic policy innovation in the early 1930s. I explore the view of the Japanese policymakers at that time, making use of newly available archives from the Bank of Japan. I derive a new series of representative long-term interest rate data from the market price of one particular government bond. Then, I explore the relationship between long-term interest rates of Japan and the two financial centers, Great Britain and the United States. The Japanese experience shows how strong the Golden Fetters were during the post-gold-standard era. The institution of the gold standard had an enduring influence on Japanese policymakers, even after its constraints were no longer formally binding.

Suggested Citation

  • Masato Shizume, 2006. "A Myth of "the Keynesian before Keynes:" Low Interest Rate Policy in the Early 1930s in Japan," Discussion Paper Series 191, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:191

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    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • N15 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Asia including Middle East


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