Low Inflation, Deflation, and Policies for Future Price Stability
The effects of three different inflationary environments--high inflation, low inflation, and negative inflation--on real output stability are examined by looking at the experiences of Japan and the United States during the last 30 years. I begin by going back to see how things looked from the vantage point of the 1987 international conference at the Bank of Japan. Next I trace out how economic performance has evolved since then. Economic performance appears to have been better with low inflation than with either high inflation or negative inflation. I also look at some of the reasons for the different inflationary environments. I take both an interest rate policy rule approach and a quantity theory of money approach. Both approaches suggest that monetary policy has been the key factor in generating the different inflationary experiences.
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