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The new deflation and housing market bubbles in the USA and UK: a monetary policy dilemma

Heather Richardson Bono (Department of Economics, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia, USA)
Charles G. Leathers (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
J. Patrick Raines (College of Business Administration, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an analysis of the improbable events of housing market bubbles occurring in a period when US and UK central bankers were responding to perceived risks of a new deflation.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology focuses on how the anti-deflation policies implemented by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England contributed to the housing market bubbles. The central bankers perceived the deflation as a Keynesian short-run deficiency in aggregate demand, triggered by a financial crisis. Indications are that the deflation is in the nature of long-run aggregate-supply-driven trend as explained in Veblen’s theory of “chronic” deflation driven by cost-reducing advances in technology and globalization.

Findings

The Keynesian anti-deflation policies of the Federal Reserve and Bank of England failed to counter the deflation risks while contributing to housing market bubbles. Moreover, the policies failed to address the structural problems of unemployment and income inequality associated with long-run aggregate supply deflation.

Originality/value

Effective policies must be based on a correct theoretical understanding of the problems. The chronic nature of the new deflation points to the need for new approaches to deal with the negative income and employment effects that exclude an increasing number from the housing markets.

Keywords

Citation

Bono, H.R., Leathers, C.G. and Raines, J.P. (2017), "The new deflation and housing market bubbles in the USA and UK: a monetary policy dilemma", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 44 No. 6, pp. 760-773. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-10-2015-0260

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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