The Implications of the Bank of Japan’s Experience for the Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy During the 2007-2011 Crisis
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Publication date: 2013-02-28
GNPJE 2013;261(1-2):71-90
The article discusses and evaluates the implications of the lessons learned from the Bank of Japan’s anti-deflationary policies by the Federal Reserve for the conduct and effectiveness of the monetary policy measures adopted in the United States during the 2007-2011 crisis. The analysis aims at identifying the features of American monetary policy influenced by the Bank of Japan’s actions, both those that proved successful and those that turned out to be inefficient in fighting stagnation in Japan. The author sets out to determine whether and to what extent these lessons increased the Fed’s effectiveness in restoring financial and macroeconomic stability during the crisis. The study identifies the decisions made by the Bank of Japan which led to its sluggish response to the economic contraction that began in the early 1990s, in particular its gradual reaction to financial market developments. The next part of the article discusses the evolution of the Fed’s monetary policy during the crisis. The analysis, based on existing research, makes it possible to assert that unconventional measures were more effective in the U.S. than in Japan. Moreover, the author concludes that the learning process between the Bank of Japan and the Fed was multidimensional and covered mostly the pace, scope and sequencing of the nonstandard tools. The learning process was reflected by the different intensity of measures undertaken by the Fed, the author says. He lists four areas that were particularly strongly influenced by the Japanese lessons: a) structural change in monetary policy before deflationary expectations were built in, b) aggressive cuts in interest rates in the first stage of the crisis, c) a recourse to unconventional measures as soon as the zero lower bound was hit, d) an increased role of financial stability in the Fed’s decisions. Overall, however, the Bank of Japan’s experience had virtually no effect on the Fed’s institutional setup, the author says; it only influenced the Federal Reserve’s operational framework.
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