March 2011 issue contents
Monetary Policy and Housing Booms

by John C. Williams
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco


A multitude of factors contributed to the housing booms and crashes experienced in many countries and the ensuing global financial crisis. Much of the existing research on these issues assumes that agents have complete information about the economic environment and form rational expectations. This commentary argues that models with imperfect knowledge and learning provide a potentially rich avenue of research on issues related to housing bubbles and monetary policy. Such models open up an avenue for the endogenous emergence of bubble-like behavior and also provide channels by which monetary and supervisory policies can influence the development of bubbles.

JEL Codes: D44, E52, E83.

Full article (PDF, 11 pages 431 kb)