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Product Turnover and the Cost of Living Index: Quality vs. Fashion Effects
This paper evaluates the effects of product turnover on a welfare-based cost-of-living index. We first present some facts about price and quantity changes over the product cycle employing scanner data for Japan for the years 1988-2013, which cover the deflationary period that started in the mid-1990s. We then develop a new methodology to decompose price changes at the time of product turnover into those due to the quality effect and those due to the fashion effect (i.e., the higher demand for products that are new). Our main findings are as follows: (1) the price and quantity of a new product ...
Working less and bargain hunting more: macro implications of sales during Japan's lost decades
Standard New Keynesian models have often neglected temporary sales. In this paper, we ask whether this treatment is appropriate. In the empirical part of the paper, we provide evidence using Japanese scanner data covering the last two decades that the frequency of sales was closely related with macroeconomic developments. Specifically, we find that the frequency of sales and hours worked move in opposite directions in response to technology shocks, producing a negative correlation between the two. We then construct a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model that takes households' ...
Monetary and fiscal policy in a liquidity trap: the Japanese experience 1999-2004
We characterize monetary and fiscal policy rules to implement optimal responses to a substantial decline in the natural rate of interest, and compare them with policy decisions made by the Japanese central bank and government in 1999?2004. First, we find that the Bank of Japan?s policy commitment to continuing monetary easing until some prespecified conditions are satisfied lacks history dependence, a key feature of the optimal monetary policy rule. Second, the term structure of the interest rate gap (the spread between the actual real interest rate and its natural rate counterpart) was not ...