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The Impact of Monetary Policy on Asset Prices

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  • Roberto Rigobon
  • Brian P. Sack

Abstract

Estimating the response of asset prices to changes in monetary policy is complicated by the endogeneity of policy decisions and the fact that both interest rates and asset prices react to numerous other variables. This paper develops a new estimator that is based on the heteroskedasticity that exists in high frequency data. We show that the response of asset prices to changes in monetary policy can be identified based on the increase in the variance of policy shocks that occurs on days of FOMC meetings and of the Chairman's semi-annual monetary policy testimony to Congress. The identification approach employed requires a much weaker set of assumptions than needed under the 'event-study' approach that is typically used in this context. The results indicate that an increase in short-term interest rates results in a decline in stock prices and in an upward shift in the yield curve that becomes smaller at longer maturities. The findings also suggest that the event-study estimates contain biases that make the estimated effects on stock prices appear too small and those on Treasury yields too large.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8794.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Publication status: published as Rigobon, Roberto and Brian Sack. "The Impact Of Monetary Policy On Asset Prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, 2004, v51(8,Nov), 1553-1575.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8794

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  1. Willem Thorbecke, 1995. "On Stock Market Returns and Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_139, Levy Economics Institute.
  2. Sentana, Enrique & Fiorentini, Gabriele, 2001. "Identification, estimation and testing of conditionally heteroskedastic factor models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 143-164, June.
  3. Mervyn King & Enrique Sentana & Sushil Wadhwani, 1990. "Volatiltiy and Links Between National Stock Markets," NBER Working Papers 3357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," NBER Working Papers 1885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
  6. Bomfim, Antulio N., 2003. "Pre-announcement effects, news effects, and volatility: Monetary policy and the stock market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 133-151, January.
  7. V. Vance Roley & Gordon H. Sellon, Jr., 1996. "The response of the term structure of interest rates to federal funds rate target changes," Research Working Paper 96-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  8. Evans, Charles L. & Marshall, David A., 1998. "Monetary policy and the term structure of nominal interest rates: Evidence and theory," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 53-111, December.
  9. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2001. "Measuring the Reaction of Monetary Policy to the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 8350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ben Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2003. "What explains the stock market's reaction to Federal Reserve policy?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  11. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1996. "How Precise are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Working Papers 5477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "Identification Through Heteroskedasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 777-792, November.
  13. Antulio N. Bomfim & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2000. "Making news: financial market effects of Federal Reserve disclosure practices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Daniel L. Thornton, 1998. "Tests of the market's reaction to federal funds rate target changes," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 25-36.
  15. Cook, Timothy & Hahn, Thomas, 1989. "The effect of changes in the federal funds rate target on market interest rates in the 1970s," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 331-351, November.
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