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Monetary Policy, Private Debt and Financial Stability Risks

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  • Gregory Bauer
  • Eleonora Granziera

Abstract

Can monetary policy be used to promote financial stability? We answer this question by estimating the impact of a monetary policy shock on private-sector leverage and the likelihood of a financial crisis. Impulse responses obtained from a panel VAR model of 18 advanced countries suggest that the debt-to-GDP ratio rises in the short run following an unexpected tightening in monetary policy. As a consequence, the likelihood of a financial crisis increases, as estimated from a panel logit regression. However, in the long run, output recovers and higher borrowing costs discourage new lending, leading to a deleveraging of the private sector. A lower debt-to-GDP ratio in turn reduces the likelihood of a financial crisis. These results suggest that monetary policy can achieve a less risky financial system in the long run but could fuel financial instability in the short run. We also find that the ultimate effects of a monetary policy tightening on the probability of a financial crisis depend on the leverage of the private sector: the higher the initial value of the debt-to-GDP ratio, the more beneficial the monetary policy intervention in the long run, but the more destabilizing in the short run.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory Bauer & Eleonora Granziera, 2016. "Monetary Policy, Private Debt and Financial Stability Risks," Staff Working Papers 16-59, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:16-59
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit and credit aggregates; Financial stability; Monetary Policy; Transmission of monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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