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Debt Dynamics and Monetary Policy: A Note

Author

Listed:
  • Laséen, Stefan

    () (Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

  • Strid, Ingvar

    () (Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

Abstract

"Leaning against the wind" – a tighter monetary policy than necessary for stabilizing inflation around the inflation target and unemployment around a long-run sustainable rate – has been justified as a way of reducing household indebtedness. In a recent paper Lars Svensson claims that this policy is counterproductive, since a higher policy rate actually leads to an increase (and not a decrease) in real debt and the debt-to-GDP ratio. In this note we offer some comments and extensions to Svensson´s analysis. In particular, we take Svensson´s debt model to the data and show that it provides an incomplete account of short term debt dynamics. Further, the overall analysis of the effects of monetary policy on debt rests on the rather strong assumption that debt is independent of the policy rate, conditional on housing prices. The policy responses advocated by Svensson can therefore be questioned. More importantly, our exercises with a modified model of debt dynamics enables further understanding of how different assumptions affect the assessment of the effects of monetary policy on debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Laséen, Stefan & Strid, Ingvar, 2013. "Debt Dynamics and Monetary Policy: A Note," Working Paper Series 283, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0283
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    File URL: http://www.riksbank.se/Documents/Rapporter/Working_papers/2013/rap_wp283_131219_revised.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dimitris Korobilis, 2013. "Var Forecasting Using Bayesian Variable Selection," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 204-230, March.
    2. Litterman, Robert B, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian Vector Autoregressions-Five Years of Experience," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, January.
    3. Bjørnland, Hilde C. & Jacobsen, Dag Henning, 2010. "The role of house prices in the monetary policy transmission mechanism in small open economies," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 218-229, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Alpanda, Sami & Zubairy, Sarah, 2017. "Addressing household indebtedness: Monetary, fiscal or macroprudential policy?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 47-73.
    2. Malovaná, Simona & Frait, Jan, 2017. "Monetary policy and macroprudential policy: Rivals or teammates?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-16.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    House prices; Mortgage Debt; Monetary policy; Bayesian Estimation; Structural VAR;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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