Benhabib et al. [(2001) Journal of Economic Theory 96, 40-69] argue that there exists a deflation steady state when the zero lower bound on the nominal interest rate is considered in a Taylor-type monetary policy rule. This paper estimates a medium-scale DSGE model with a deflation steady state for the Japanese economy during the period from 1999 to 2013, when the Bank of Japan conducted a zero interest rate policy and the inflation rate was almost always negative. Although the model exhibits equilibrium indeterminacy around the deflation steady state, a set of specific equilibria is selected by Bayesian methods. According to the estimated model, positive shocks to households' preferences and wage markup, and a negative shock to monetary policy do not necessarily have an inflationary effect, in contrast to a standard model with a targeted-inflation steady state. An economy in the deflation equilibrium could experience unexpected volatility because of sunspot fluctuations, but it turns out that sunspot shocks have a limited effect on Japan's output fluctuations and rather contribute to stabilizing the economy after the global financial crisis.
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