DECLINING TRENDS IN THE REAL INTEREST RATE AND INFLATION: THE ROLE OF AGING
This paper explores a causal link between aging of the labor force and declining trends in the real interest rate and inflation in Japan. We develop a New Keynesian search/matching model that features heterogeneities in age and firm-specific skills. Using the model, we examine the long-run implications of the sharp drop in labor force entry in the 1970s. We show that the changes in the demographic structure induce significant low-frequency movements in per-capita consumption growth and the real interest rate. They also lead to similar movements in the inflation rate when the monetary policy ...
Monetary policy in a life-cycle economy
Generational War on Inflation: Optimal Inflation Rates for the Young and the Old
How does a grayer society affect the political decision-making regarding inflation rates? Is deflation preferred as a society ages? In order to answer these questions, we compute the optimal inflation rates for the young and the old respectively, and explore how they change with demographic factors, by using a New Keynesian model with overlapping generations. According to our simulation results, there indeed exists a tension between the young and the old on the optimal inflation rates, with the optimal inflation rates differing between generations. The rates can be significantly different ...
Real exchange rate dynamics revisited: a case with financial market imperfections
In this paper, we investigate the relationship between real exchange rate dynamics and financial market imperfections. For this purpose, we first construct a New Open Economy Macroeconomics (NOEM) model that incorporates staggered loan contracts as a simple form of the financial market imperfections. Our model with such a financial market friction replicates persistent, volatile, and realistic hump-shaped responses of real exchange rates, which have been thought very difficult to materialize in standard NOEM models. Remarkably, these realistic responses can materialize even with both supply ...
Export shocks and the zero bound trap
When a small open economy experiences a sufficiently large negative export shock, it is vulnerable to falling into a zero bound trap. In addition, such a shock can have very large impact on the economy compared to the case when the zero bound is not a binding constraint. This could be one possible explanation as to why a country like Japan experienced much larger drop in output than the United States during the recent financial crisis.
Private news and monetary policy forward guidance or (the expected virtue of ignorance)
How should monetary policy be designed when the central bank has private information about future economic conditions? When private news about shocks to future fundamentals is added to an otherwise standard new Keynesian model, social welfare deteriorates by the central bank?s reaction to or revelation of such news. There exists an expected virtue of ignorance, and secrecy constitutes optimal policy. This result holds when news are about cost-push shocks, or about shocks to the monetary policy objective, or about shocks to the natural rate of interest, and even when the zero lower bound of ...
Financial markets forecasts revisited: are they rational, herding or bold?
We test whether professional forecasters forecast rationally or behaviorally using a unique database, QSS Database, which is the monthly panel of forecasts on Japanese stock prices and bond yields. The estimation results show that (i) professional forecasts are behavioral, namely, significantly influenced by past forecasts, (ii) there exists a stock-bond dissonance: while forecasting behavior in the stock market seems to be herding, that in the bond market seems to be bold in the sense that their current forecasts tend to be negatively related to past forecasts, and (iii) the dissonance is ...
Optimal monetary policy in open economies revisited
This paper revisits optimal monetary policy in open economies, in particular, focusing on the noncooperative policy game under local currency pricing in a two-country dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model. We first derive the quadratic loss functions which noncooperative policy makers aim to minimize. Then, we show that noncooperative policy makers face extra trade-offs regarding stabilizing the real marginal costs induced by deviations from the law of one price under local currency pricing. As a result of the increased number of stabilizing objectives, welfare gains from cooperation ...
Fiscal Forward Guidance: A Case for Selective Transparency
Should the fiscal authority use forward guidance to reduce future policy uncertainty perceived by private agents? Using dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models, we examine the welfare effects of announcing future fiscal policy shocks. Analytical as well as numerical experiments show that selective transparency is desirable?announcing future fiscal policy shocks that are distortionary can be detrimental to ex ante social welfare, whereas announcing nondistortionary shocks generally improves welfare. Sizable welfare gains are found with constructive ambiguity regarding the timing of a ...
The Optimal Degree of Monetary-Discretion in a New Keynesian Model with Private Information
This paper considers the optimal degree of monetary-discretion when the central bank conducts policy based on its private information about the state of the economy and is unable to commit. Society seeks to maximize social welfare by imposing restrictions on the central bank's actions over time, and the central bank takes these restrictions and the New Keynesian Phillips curve as constraints. By solving a dynamic mechanism design problem we find that it is optimal to grant ?constrained discretion? to the central bank by imposing both upper and lower bounds on permissible inflation, and that ...