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Is the Bank of Japan a Closet Monetarist? Monetary Targeting in Japan, 1978-1988

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  • Takatoshi Ito

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the Bank of Japan has practiced a monetarist rule since 1975. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) published a report in 1975, stating that it would pay close attention to money supply (M2), and in 1978 started announcing quarterly the "forecast" (targets) of monetary (M2) growth rate. Since 1975. the monetary growth rate has gradually declined, and inflation has subsided without causing a major fluctuation in output. This seems to be a successful case of the monetarist experiment. Has the EOJ practiced a monetarist rule, i.e., an announcement and maintenance of the K2 growth target? This paper reveals that it has not. The BOJ "forecasts" were quite accommodative in that an unexpected increase in actual money supply would make "forecasts" to allow a further increase in money supply. In other words, a "forecast" did not behave like a "target" under a strict monetarist rule. Testing a monetarist rule with "forecasts" is shown to be more powerful than testing with the actual process, under some weak assumptions. One of the necessary assumptions is that "forecasts" are rational expectations, and the rational expectations hypothesis is not rejected by the data. Thus, the conclusion of this paper is negative to a question posed by its title. Takatoshi

Suggested Citation

  • Takatoshi Ito, 1989. "Is the Bank of Japan a Closet Monetarist? Monetary Targeting in Japan, 1978-1988," NBER Working Papers 2879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2879
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McCallum, Bennett T, 1985. "On Consequences and Criticisms of Monetary Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(4), pages 570-597, November.
    2. Pierce, James L, 1984. "Did Financial Innovation Hurt the Great Monetarist Experiment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 392-396, May.
    3. Kazuo Ueda, 1990. "Financial deregulation and the demand for money in Japan," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 176-205.
    4. Yoshio Suzuki & Akio Kuroda & Hiromichi Shirakawa, 1988. "Monetary Control Mechanism in Japan," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 6(2), pages 1-27, November.
    5. William G. Dewald, 1988. "Monetarism is dead; long live the quantity theory," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 3-18.
    6. McCallum, Bennett T, 1984. "Monetarist Rules in the Light of Recent Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 388-391, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kenneth D. West, 1993. "An Aggregate Demand--Aggregate Supply Analysis of Japanese Monetary Policy,1973-1990," NBER Chapters,in: Japanese Monetary Policy, pages 160-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Akhand Akhtar Hossain, 2009. "Central Banking and Monetary Policy in the Asia-Pacific," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12777.
    3. Takatoshi Ito, 1989. "Endogenous Election Timings and Political Business Cycles in Japan," NBER Working Papers 3128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Takatoshi Ito, 2010. "Great Inflation and Central Bank Independence in Japan," NBER Working Papers 15726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "Monetary regime choices for a semi-open country," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 93-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    6. Shioji, Etsuro, 2000. "Identifying Monetary Policy Shocks in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 22-42, March.
    7. Akhand Akhtar Hossain, 2015. "The Evolution of Central Banking and Monetary Policy in the Asia-Pacific," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14611.
    8. Ryuzo Miyao, 2005. "Use Of The Money Supply In The Conduct Of Japan'S Monetary Policy: Re-Examining The Time-Series Evidence," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 165-187.

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