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Daily Monetary Policy Shocks and the Delayed Response of New Home Sales

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  • James D. Hamilton

Abstract

This paper offers an explication of the hump-shaped response of real economic activity to changes in monetary policy, focusing on the particular channel operating through new home sales. I suggest that the conventional notion of a monetary policy shock as a surprise change in the fed funds rate is misspecified. The primary news for market participants is not what the Fed just did, but is instead new information about what the Fed is going to do in the near future. Revisions in these anticipations show up instantaneously in long-term mortgage rates. Although mortgage rates respond well before the Fed actually changes its target rate, home sales do not respond until much later. The paper attributes this delay to cross-sectional heterogeneity in search times. This framework offers a description of the lags in the effects of monetary policy that is both more detailed, allowing us in principle to measure the consequences at the daily frequency, and more believable than traditional measures.

Suggested Citation

  • James D. Hamilton, 2008. "Daily Monetary Policy Shocks and the Delayed Response of New Home Sales," NBER Working Papers 14223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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