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A Reassessment of Japan's Monetary Policy during the Great Depression: The Constraints and Remedies

Author

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  • Masato Shizume

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

Abstract

Temin [1989] and Eichengreen [1992] argue that monetary policy played a key role in each country's economic performance during the Great Depression, and that some European policymakers hesitated to pursue an expansionary monetary policy even after departing from gold. Why did these policymakers not pursue the opportunities they were able to pursue to the fullest extent? This study explores this issue by looking at the case of Japan, focusing on the constraints it faced and the remedies available to it as a small, open economy. This study explores the relationship between interest rates in Japan and in the major international financial centers, using a new series of representative long-term interest rates and narratives. This study reveals that Japan imposed a restrictive monetary policy on itself even after departing from the gold standard. Japan did so because it needed to maintain its ties both with its trading partners and with the international financial markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Masato Shizume, 2007. "A Reassessment of Japan's Monetary Policy during the Great Depression: The Constraints and Remedies," Discussion Paper Series 208, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:208
    as

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    File URL: http://www.rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp/academic/ra/dp/English/dp208.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2004. "Monetary Sovereignty, Exchange Rates, and Capital Controls: The Trilemma in the Interwar Period," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 75-108, June.
    2. 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.
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    5. 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.
    6. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, January.
    7. Hansen, Bruce E., 1992. "Efficient estimation and testing of cointegrating vectors in the presence of deterministic trends," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 87-121.
    8. Shizume, Masato, 2002. "Economic Developments and Monetary Policy Responses in Interwar Japan: Evaluation Based on the Taylor Rule," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 20(3), pages 77-116, October.
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    12. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1998. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," NBER Chapters,in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 353-402 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    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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