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Leaning Against the Wind: The Role of Different Assumptions About the Costs

Listed author(s):
  • Lars E.O. Svensson

“Leaning against the wind” (LAW), that is, tighter monetary policy for financial-stability purposes, has costs in terms of a weaker economy with higher unemployment and lower inflation and possible benefits from a lower probability or magnitude of a (financial) crisis. A first obvious cost is a weaker economy if no crisis occurs. A second cost—less obvious, but higher—is a weaker economy if a crisis occurs. Taking the second cost into account, Svensson (2017) shows that for representative empirical benchmark estimates and reasonable assumptions the costs of LAW exceed the benefits by a substantial margin. Previous literature has disregarded the second cost, by assuming that the crisis loss level is independent of LAW. Some recent literature has effectively disregarded the second cost, making it to be of second order by assuming that the cost of a crisis (the crisis loss level less the non-crisis loss level) is independent of LAW. In these cases where the second cost is disregarded, for representative estimates a small but economically insignificant amount of LAW is optimal.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23745.

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Date of creation: Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23745
Note: ME
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  1. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2016. "The great mortgaging: housing finance, crises and business cycles," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 31(85), pages 107-152.
  2. Andrew Filardo & Phurichai Rungcharoenkitkul, 2016. "A quantitative case for leaning against the wind," BIS Working Papers 594, Bank for International Settlements.
  3. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2016. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of Leaning Against the Wind," NBER Working Papers 21902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2014. "Inflation Targeting and "Leaning against the Wind"," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 10(2), pages 103-114, June.
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