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Was Bernanke Right? Targeting Asset Prices may not be a Good Idea after all

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  • Tiziana Assenza
  • Michele Berardi
  • Domenico Delli Gatti

Abstract

Should the central bank prevent “excessive” asset price dynamics or should it wait until the boom spontaneously turns into a crash and intervene only afterwards? The debate over this issue goes back at least to the exchange between Bernanke-Gertler (BG) and Cecchetti but has not settled yet. In their 1999 paper BG claimed that price stability and financial stability are ‘highly complementary and mutually consistent objectives’ in a flexible inflation targeting regime which ‘dictates that central banks ... should not respond to changes in asset prices, except insofar as they signal changes in expected inflation.’ (BG, 1999, p.18). This conclusion is straightforward within the variant of the NK-DSGE framework used by BG in which asset inflation shows up as a factor ‘augmenting’ the IS curve. In the present paper, we pursue a different modelling strategy so that, in the end, asset price dynamics will be incorporated into the NK Phillips curve. In our context it is not true anymore that by focusing on inflation the central bank is also checking an asset price boom. We put ourselves, therefore, in the best position to obtain a significant stabilizing role for asset price targeting. It turns out, however, that inflation volatility is higher in the asset price targeting case. After all, therefore, targeting asset prices may not be a good idea.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3641.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3641

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Related research

Keywords: cost channel; asset prices; Taylor rules;

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  1. Tommaso Monacelli, 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Collateralized Household Debt and Borrowing Constraints," NBER Working Papers 12470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy Fuerst, 2007. "Asset Prices, Nominal Rigidities, and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(2), pages 256-275, April.
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Matteo Iacoviello, 2005. "House Prices, Borrowing Constraints, and Monetary Policy in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 739-764, June.
  5. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," NBER Working Papers 6455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ravenna, Federico & Walsh, Carl E., 2006. "Optimal monetary policy with the cost channel," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 199-216, March.
  8. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  9. Airaudo, Marco & Nisticò, Salvatore & Zanna, Luis-Felipe, 2012. "Learning, Monetary Policy and Asset Prices," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2012-12, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
  10. Paul De Grauwe & Daniel Gros, 2009. "A New Two-Pillar Strategy for the ECB," CESifo Working Paper Series 2818, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Charles Bean, 2010. "Joseph Schumpeter Lecture The Great Moderation, The Great Panic, and The Great Contraction," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(2-3), pages 289-325, 04-05.
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