Discussion Paper Series 2004-E-6

Price Stability and Japanese Monetary Policy

Robert L. Hetzel

For most of the time since 1995, the Japanese price level has declined. Since early 1999, short-term interest rates have mostly remained near zero. Also, starting in 2001, the excess reserves held by banks have risen dramatically. Many observers have concluded that central banks are powerless to end deflation when short-term interest rates are near zero. This paper argues that such a pessimistic conclusion is unwarranted.

Keywords: Quantity theory view, liquidity view, quantitative easing, expectation, price stability, Japanese monetary policy

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

Copyright © 2004 Bank of Japan All Rights Reserved.

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