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Transmission of monetary policy in times of high household debt

Youngju Kim and Hyunjoon Lim

Journal of Macroeconomics, 2020, vol. 63, issue C

Abstract: This paper explores whether the degree of household indebtedness can affect the effectiveness of monetary policy. We take an interacted panel VAR approach, using a panel of 23 countries, thereby obtaining several interesting findings, such as the responses of consumption and investment to monetary shocks are stronger in high levels of household debt. Furthermore, such responses become larger in a contractionary monetary policy stance rather than in an expansionary one, which suggests that monetary policy shocks have asymmetric effects. We have also found that monetary policy has a relatively larger impact in countries with higher share of adjustable-rate loans. Finally, we have found that when a country is in a high-debt state and in a contractionary policy stance, monetary policy is more powerful in countries with a higher share of adjustable-rate loans. We conjecture that these findings support the presence of a cash-flow channel with respect to the transmission of monetary policy in a high household debt state.

Keywords: Household debt; Monetary policy; Interacted panel VAR; Adjustable-rate loans; Monetary policy stance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E52 E62 R38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2019.103168

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