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Leaning Against Boom-Bust Cycles in Credit and Housing Prices

Authors 
Maria Teresa Punzi
Luisa Lambertini
Publication Year 
2011
JEL Code 
E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E52 - Monetary Policy (Targets, Instruments, and Effects)
Abstract 
This paper studies the potential gains of monetary and macro-prudential policies that lean against news-driven boom-bust cycles in housing prices and credit generated by expectations of future macroeconomic developments. First, we find no trade-off between the traditional goals of monetary policy and leaning against boom-bust cycles. An interest-rate rule that completely stabilizes inflation is not optimal. In contrast, an interest-rate rule that responds to financial variables mitigates macroeconomic and financial cycles and is welfare improving relative to the estimated rule. Second, counter-cyclical Loan-to-Value rules that respond to credit growth do not increase inflation volatility and are more effective in maintaining a stable provision of financial intermediation than interest-rate rules that respond to financial variables. Heterogeneity in the welfare implications for borrowers and savers make it difficult to rank the two policy frameworks.
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