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Monetary Policy and Asset Price Volatility: Should We Refill the Bernanke-Gertler Prescription?



Bernanke and Gertler's influential 1999 article "Asset Price Bubbles and Monetary Policy" made the case that monetary policy should respond to asset prices only to the extent that they have implications for future inflation. This paper revisits that prescription in light of the 2007-09 financial crisis. After reviewing the Bernanke-Gertler logic, the paper surveys the recent evolution of views on the appropriate policy response to asset price fluctuations, and discusses the conditions under which a proactive policy would be justified. There is almost no discernible relationship between interest rates and stock and property prices across countries during the years leading up to the crisis, however. While a theoretical case could be made to give some weight to financial stability in setting monetary policy, the evidence presented in the paper suggests that incremental interest rate adjustments are unlikely to be effective in restraining excessive asset price appreciation.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth Kuttner, 2011. "Monetary Policy and Asset Price Volatility: Should We Refill the Bernanke-Gertler Prescription?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-04, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jun 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2011-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adam Posen, 2003. "It Takes More Than a Bubble to Become Japan," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Anthony Richards & Tim Robinson (ed.), Asset Prices and Monetary Policy Reserve Bank of Australia.
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    6. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2012. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 301-359 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Del Negro, Marco & Otrok, Christopher, 2007. "99 Luftballons: Monetary policy and the house price boom across U.S. states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1962-1985, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ravn Søren Hove, 2012. "Has the Fed Reacted Asymmetrically to Stock Prices?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-36, June.
    2. Mala Raghavan & Mardi Dungey, 2015. "Should ASEAN-5 monetary policy-makers act pre-emptively against stock market bubbles?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(11), pages 1086-1105, March.
    3. Ravn, Søren Hove, 2014. "Asymmetric monetary policy towards the stock market: A DSGE approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 24-41.
    4. Lukáš Pfeifer & Zdeněk Pikhart, 2014. "Vztah finanční a cenové stability v podmínkách ČR
      [The Relationship of Financial and Price Stability in the Context of the Czech Republic]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2014(1), pages 49-66.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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