Measuring the Reaction of Monetary Policy to the Stock Market

34 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2001 Last revised: 20 Aug 2001

See all articles by Brian P. Sack

Brian P. Sack

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve - Monetary and Financial Market Analysis Section

Roberto Rigobon

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2001

Abstract

Movements in the stock market can have a significant impact on the macroeconomy and are therefore likely to be an important factor in the determination of monetary policy. However, little is known about the magnitude of the Federal Reserve's reaction to the stock market. One reason is that it is difficult to estimate the policy reaction because of the simultaneous response of equity prices to interest rate changes. This paper uses an identification technique based on the heteroskedasticity of stock market returns to identify the reaction of monetary policy to the stock market. The results indicate that monetary policy reacts significantly to stock market movements, with a 5% rise (fall) in the S&P 500 index increasing the likelihood of a 25 basis point tightening (easing) by about a half. This reaction is roughly of the magnitude that would be expected from estimates of the impact of stock market movements on aggregate demand. Thus, it appears that the Federal Reserve systematically responds to stock price movements only to the extent warranted by their impact on the macroeconomy.

Suggested Citation

Sack, Brian P. and Rigobon, Roberto, Measuring the Reaction of Monetary Policy to the Stock Market (July 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8350. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=275424

Brian P. Sack

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve - Monetary and Financial Market Analysis Section ( email )

20th and C Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States
202-736-5671 (Phone)
202-452-2301 (Fax)

Roberto Rigobon (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E52-447
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-258-8374 (Phone)
617-258-6855 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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United States

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