Monetary versus macroprudential policies: causal impacts of interest rates and credit controls in the era of the UK Radcliffe Report

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 19 August 2016

Working Paper No 610
By David Aikman, Oliver Bush and Alan M Taylor

We have entered a world of conjoined monetary and macroprudential policies. But can they function smoothly in tandem, and with what effects? Since this policy cocktail has not been seen for decades, the empirical evidence is almost non-existent. We can only fix this shortcoming in a historical laboratory. The Radcliffe Report (1959), notoriously sceptical about the efficacy of monetary policy, embodied views which led the United Kingdom to a three-decade experiment of using credit controls alongside conventional changes in the central bank interest rate. These non-price tools are similar to policies now being considered or used by macroprudential policymakers. We describe these tools, document how they were used by the authorities, and craft a new, largely hand-collected dataset to help estimate their effects. We develop a novel identification strategy, which we term Factor-Augmented Local Projection (FALP), to investigate the subtly different impacts of both monetary and macroprudential policies. Monetary policy acted on output and inflation broadly in line with consensus views today, but credit controls had markedly different effects and acted primarily to modulate bank lending.

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