Quit picking on Japan, part II

Will Wilkinson has been schooling the internets about division properly controlling for inflation when figuring real incomes, eliciting bored nods from those that have actually read Broda/Weinstein/Romalis (no links… too boring to write a post about) and confused indignation from those that want to talk about everything except real income inequality. Anyway, this prompted me […]

Quit picking on Japan!

Here’s the per capita GDP for the G8 countries (relative to the USA): You can take two lessons from this chart. 1) Japan hasn’t had bad monetary policy relative to, say, the continental European countries or 2) Monetary policy just doesn’t matter in the long-run Also, the more you stare at these real GDP per […]

Why a good “policy stance” might matter

I haven’t read John Taylor’s newest working paper yet, but its about the Fed’s start-stop policy stance under the ancien régime. The story he’s riffing on in that paper is pretty standard. There was high and variable inflation under the old monetary policy regime because the Fed didn’t fully accept its role in determining inflation. […]

Japanese unemployment

In November, Japanese unemployment was at 5.2%. Many folks are comparing the Fed’s action today to those of the Bank of Japan in the “lost decade” (e.g.). I can’t quite peg down the comparison being made by Sumner, but Yglesias articulated it most clearly: [Bernanke] knows that unemployment is a problem now and he believes […]

Is this true?

Among ordinary Japanese, the spending is widely disparaged for having turned the nation into a public-works-based welfare state and making regional economies dependent on Tokyo for jobs. — NYT

Liquidity trap? part II

From Japan 2008 This one needs a caption: There was a sign describing this construction project as building a fish spawning pathway. As you can see, they’re tearing out the old fish spawning pathway to build this new one. I should mention that the government agency that funds such projects had its prefecture headquarters across […]

Liquidity trap? part I

From Japan 2008

Beyond description

For the first two years of grad school, I TA’d in the Anthropology department for a professor that taught Japanese culture. While I had always been interested in Japan — my original plan in grad school was to study Japanese economic history — I was literally a day’s reading ahead of my students. Anyway, the […]

Honest Abe

This, I think, is a surprise.

Sushi boat