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Low Interest Rates and Housing Bubbles: Still No Smoking Gun

This paper revisits the relationship between interest rates and house prices. Surveying a number of recent studies and bringing to bear some new evidence on the question, this paper argues that in the data, the impact of interest rates on house prices appears to be quite modest. Specifically, the estimated effects are uniformly smaller than those implied by the conventional user cost theory of house prices, and they are too small to explain the previous decadeÂ’s real estate boom in the U.S. and elsewhere. However in some countries, there does appear to have been a link between the rapid expansion of the monetary base and growth in house prices and housing credit.

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File URL: http://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/Kuttner-smoking-gun.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2012-01.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2012-01
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Phone: 413 597 2476
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Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2010. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Working Papers 16230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Y. Campbell, 1990. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 3246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent Reinhart, 2011. "Pride Goes Before a Fall: Federal Reserve Policy and Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 16815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Filipa Sá & Pascal Towbin & Tomasz Wieladek, 2011. "Low interest rates and housing booms: the role of capital inflows, monetary policy and financial innovation," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 79, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  5. Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2000. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: evidence from the Fed funds futures markets," Staff Reports 99, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Campbell, Sean D. & Davis, Morris A. & Gallin, Joshua & Martin, Robert F., 2009. "What moves housing markets: A variance decomposition of the rent-price ratio," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 90-102, September.
  7. Charles Goodhart & Boris Hofmann, 2008. "House prices, money, credit, and the�macroeconomy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 180-205, spring.
  8. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions," NBER Working Papers 11643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jarociński, Marek & Smets, Frank, 2008. "House Prices and the stance of Monetary Policy," Working Paper Series 0891, European Central Bank.
  10. Jane Dokko & Brian Doyle & Michael T. Kiley & Jinill Kim & Shane Sherlund & Jae Sim & Skander Van den Heuvel, 2009. "Monetary policy and the housing bubble," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Leonardo Gambacorta, 2009. "Monetary policy and the risk-taking channel," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  12. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Robert Marquez & Luc Laeven, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Leverage, and Bank Risk-Taking," IMF Working Papers 10/276, International Monetary Fund.
  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.
  14. Ioannidou, V. & Ongena, S. & Peydro, J.L., 2009. "Monetary Policy, Risk-Taking, and Pricing : Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," Discussion Paper 2009-31 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. Joshua Gallin, 2008. "The Long-Run Relationship Between House Prices and Rents," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 36(4), pages 635-658, December.
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