Yuta Takahashi (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University) - Hidden Stagflation

Co-author: Naoki Takayama (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

We present evidence that the rise in inflation in Japan since 2014 is a result of a hidden stagflation: the relative prices of durable consumption and ICT investment goods stopped declining, reflecting technology stagnation and exerting an inflationary pressure on the economy and; the real side of the Japanese economy simultaneously started stagnating even further. We construct a multi-good monetary model to account for these facts together and quantify the impact of the technology stagnation on the aggregate inflation rate. We develop a new sign restriction approach to construct informative lower bounds to the impact of the technology stagnation on long-run inflation without relying on the exact Euler equation and some of the balanced growth path properties. By using the lower bounds, we find that inflation would be close to 0% or even negative without the technology stagnation. Moreover, the technology stag- nation explains a sizable fraction of the observed slowdown in the real GDP and consumption growth. Our findings challenge the conventional view that Japan emerged from long-lasting deflation owing to the unconventional monetary policies. Finally, we apply our analysis to European countries and uncover the hidden stagflation there as well.

Online Research seminars organized by the Bank of Finland's Research Unit are open to all researchers interested in the subjects covered. Those wishing to attend a seminar are kindly asked to register in advance, by filling in the Online Registration Form

The registration for each seminar is open until 1:00 pm the day of the seminar. You will receive a link to join the seminar by email at the latest one hour before the seminar is scheduled to begin.