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Leaning Against House Prices: A Structural VAR Investigation

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  • Luca Benati

Abstract

Evidence from monetary VARs suggests that in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. the impact of monetary shocks on real house prices is about three to five times as large as that onreal GDP. Although these trade-offs are not manifestly unfavorable, in the light of the large differences in the magnitudes of house prices and GDP fluctuations, a monetary policy of leaning against the former would inevitably entail significant losses in the latter. I use the identified VARs in order to explore the corresponding trade12 offs associated with a monetary policy of weakly, but systematically leaning against house prices. Results from ‘modest’ (in the sense of Leeper and Zha, 2003) policy counterfactuals suggest that, in population, the impact on real house prices is about three times as large as that on real GDP for all of the three countries. Within the specific context of the upsurge in U.S. house prices which pre-dated the financial crisis, a shortfall of one per cent of GDP would have been associated with a decline in real house prices by about four per cent.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Benati, 2020. "Leaning Against House Prices: A Structural VAR Investigation," Diskussionsschriften dp2020, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  • Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp2020
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Structural VARs; house prices; sign restrictions; zero restrictions.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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