The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper analyzes the relationship between the real exchange rate and the business cycle in Japan during the floating rate period. A structural vector autoregression is used to identify different types of macroeconomic shocks that determine fluctuations in aggregate output and the real exchange rate. Relative nominal and real demand shocks are found to be the main determinants of variation in real exchange rate changes, while relative output growth is driven primarily by supply shocks. Historical decompositions suggest that the sharp appreciations of the yen in 1993 and 1995 and its subsequent depreciation can be attributed primarily to relative nominal shocks.