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  • Author: Alain P. Chaboud, Owen Humpage
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: We analyze the short-term price impact of Japanese foreign exchange intervention operations between 1991 and 2004, using official data from Japan's Ministry of Finance. Over the period as a whole, we find some evidence of a modest "against the wind" effect, but interventions do not have value as a forecast that the exchange rate will move in a direction consistent with the operations. Interventions conducted between 1995 and 2002, which were large and infrequent, met with a much higher degree of success. For the most recent episode of intervention, in 2003 and 2004, despite the record size and frequency of the overall episode, it is difficult to statistically distinguish the pattern of exchange rate movements on intervention days from that of all the days in that particular subperiod, showing little effectiveness. Still, while the evidence of Japanese intervention effectiveness is modest overall, it appears to be stronger than that found using similar techniques for U.S. intervention operations conducted in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: David C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: This paper examines the characteristics of loans to Japanese borrowers using a relatively unexplored, contract-specific data set. I find that Japanese banks charge less on loans to Japanese borrowers than do foreign banks, holding constant many of the risk characteristics of the borrower. Moreover, Japanese banks vary pricing less across these risks than do foreign banks, suggesting that Japanese banks tend not to distinguish good risks from bad. Taken together, the results suggest that problems at Japanese banks stem from the behavior of the banks themselves, not simply from poor economic conditions. I also document a significant shortening in the maturity structure of Japanese loans in the late 1990s.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Jon Wongswan
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: This paper provides evidence of transmission of information from the U.S. and Japan to Korean and Thai equity markets during the period from 1995 through 2000. Information is defined as important macroeconomic announcements in the U.S., Japan, Korea, and Thailand. Using high-frequency intraday data, I focus the study on return volatility and trading volume because the implications of new information are much clearer than for returns. I find a large and significant association between emerging-economy equity volatility and trading volume and developed-economy macroeconomic announcements at short-time horizons. This is the first strong evidence of this sort of international information transmission. Previous studies' findings of at most weak evidence may be due to their use of lower frequency data and their focus on developed-economy financial market innovations as the measure of information.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia, Korea, Thailand
  • Author: Gunter Coenen, Volker Wieland
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In this paper we estimate a small macroeconometric model of the United States, the euro area and Japan with rational expectations and nominal rigidities due to staggered contracts. Comparing three popular contracting specifications we find that euro area and Japanese inflation dynamics are best explained by Taylor-style contracts, while Buiter-Jewitt/Fuhrer- Moore contracts perform somewhat better in fitting U.S. inflation dynamics. We are unable to fit Calvo-style contracts to inflation dynamics in any of the three economies without allowing either for ad-hoc persistence in unobservables or a significant backward-looking element. The completed model matches inflation and output dynamics in the United States, the euro area and Japan quite well. We then use it to evaluate the role of the exchange rate for monetary policy. Preliminary results, which are similar across the three economies, indicate little gain from a direct policy response to the exchange rate.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel
  • Author: Jane Haltmaier
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: The paper uses capital and labor utilization rates to derive estimates of the Japanese output gap and potential output. Two techniques are used. The first uses the cyclical indicators to adjust potential output estimates derived from a Hodrick-Prescott filter over the most recent period when such estimates are generally considered to be unreliable. The second estimates equilibrium levels of the cyclical indicators and uses an Okun's Law-type relationship to derive output gaps and potential output. The second method is also applied to the components of potential output to derive a third estimate. These methods suggest that the current Japanese output gap is considerably larger than a simple Hodrick-Prescott filter would suggest.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan