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What Explains House Price Booms?: History and Empirical Evidence

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  • Michael D. Bordo
  • John Landon-Lane

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the relationship between loose monetary policy, low inflation, and easy bank credit with house price booms. Using a panel of 11 OECD countries from 1920 to 2011 we estimate a panel VAR in order to identify shocks that can be interpreted as loose monetary policy shocks, low inflation shocks, bank credit shocks and house price shocks. We show that loose monetary policy played an important role in housing booms along with the other shocks. We show that during boom periods there is a heightened impact of all three “policy” shocks with the bank credit shock playing an important role. However, when we look at individual house price boom episodes the cause of the price boom is not so clear. The evidence suggests that the house price boom that occurred in the US during the 1990s and 2000s was not due to easy bank credit. Loose monetary policy (as well as low inflation) played some role but the residual which may be picking up other factors such as financial innovation and the shadow banking system is the most important shock. This result is robust to many alternative specifications.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19584.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19584

Note: DAE ME
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  1. Christian Hott & Terhi Jokipii, 2012. "Housing Bubbles and Interest Rates," Working Papers 2012-07, Swiss National Bank.
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  12. Michael D. Bordo & David C. Wheelock, 2004. "Monetary policy and asset prices: a look back at past U.S. stock market booms," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 19-44.
  13. Timothy Cogley & James M. Nason, 1993. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series: implications for business cycle research," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 93-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Frappa, Sébastien & Mésonnier, Jean-Stéphane, 2010. "The housing price boom of the late 1990s: Did inflation targeting matter?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 243-254, December.
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