The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Thomas Cosimano, Connel Fullenkamp, and Ralph Chami
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper argues that the stock market is an important channel of monetary policy. Monetary policy affects real economic activity because inflation levies a property tax on stocks in addition to an income tax on dividend payments. Inflation thus taxes stocks more heavily than it does bonds. Households alter their required rate of return as inflation changes, and firms adjust production in order to satisfy their shareholders’ demands. As the stock market channel grows in importance, the appropriate intermediate target for the central bank is the price level, with price stability being the ultimate goal.