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Financial asset prices and monetary policy: theory and evidence

  • Frank Smets

    (European Central Bank (ECB))

The work presented in this paper falls into two parts. First, using a simple model and within the context of the central bank's objective of price stability, it is shown that the optimal monetary response to unexpected changes in asset prices depends on how these changes affect the central bank's inflation forecast, which in turn depends on two factors: the role of the asset price in the transmission mechanism and the typical information content of innovations in the asset price. In this context, the advantages and disadvantages of setting monetary policy in terms of a weighted average of a short-term interest rate and an asset price such as the exchange rate - a Monetary Conditions Index (MCI) - are discussed. The second, more empirical, part of the paper documents, using an estimated policy reaction function, the short-term response to financial asset prices, including the exchange rate, in two countries with inflation targets (Australia and Canada) and suggests that the different response to exchange rate changes in these countries can in part be explained by differences in their underlying sources.

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Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 47.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:47
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  1. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
  2. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Dale W. Henderson, 1991. "Monetary Policy in Interdependent Economies: A Game-Theoretic Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031787, June.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld & Robert E. Cumby & John Huizinga, 1983. "Two-Step Two-Stage Least Squares Estimation in Models with Rational Expectations," NBER Technical Working Papers 0011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  5. David Longworth & Brian O´Reilly, 2002. "The Monetary Policy Transmission Mechanism and Policy Rules in Canada," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 13, pages 357-392 Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Poole, William, 1970. "Optimal Choice of Monetary Policy Instruments in a Simple Stochastic Macro Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 197-216, May.
  7. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," NBER Working Papers 2737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  9. Broadbent, Ben & Barro, Robert J., 1997. "Central bank preferences and macroeconomic equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-43, June.
  10. Gruen, David W R & Wilkinson, Jenny, 1994. "Australia's Real Exchange Rate--Is It Explained by the Terms of Trade or by Real Interest Differentials?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 70(209), pages 204-19, June.
  11. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  12. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Sources of real exchange-rate fluctuations: How important are nominal shocks?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 1-56, December.
  13. Enders, Walter & Lee, Bong-Soo, 1997. "Accounting for real and nominal exchange rate movements in the post-Bretton Woods period," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 233-254, April.
  14. Fisher, Lance A, 1996. "Sources of Exchange Rate and Price Level Fluctuations in Two Commodity Exporting Countries: Australia and New Zealand," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(219), pages 345-58, December.
  15. Guy Debelle, 1996. "The Ends of Three Small Inflations: Australia, New Zealand and Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(1), pages 56-78, March.
  16. Arthur Grimes & Jason Wong, 1992. "The role of the exchange rate in New Zealand monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
  17. Duguay, Pierre, 1994. "Empirical evidence on the strength of the monetary transmission mechanism in Canada: An aggregate approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 39-61, February.
  18. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1989. "Monetary policy rules and the indicator properties of asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 89, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Dale W. Henderson & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1981. "The information content of the interest rate and optimal monetary policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 192, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Bankim Chadha & Eswar Prasad, 1997. "Real Exchange Rate Fluctuations and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Japan," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(3), pages 328-355, September.
  21. Amano, Robert A. & van Norden, Simon, 1995. "Terms of trade and real exchange rates: the Canadian evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 83-104, February.
  22. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 2000. "MCIs and monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1677-1700, October.
  23. Lastrapes, William D, 1992. "Sources of Fluctuations in Real and Nominal Exchange Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 530-39, August.
  24. Boyer, Russell S, 1978. "Optimal Foreign Exchange Market Intervention," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1045-55, December.
  25. Arturo Estrella, 1997. "Why do interest rates predict macro outcomes?: A unified theory of inflation, output, interest and policy," Research Paper 9717, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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