Mortgages and Monetary Policy
NBER Working Paper No. 19744
Mortgages are prime examples of long-term nominal loans. As a result, under incomplete asset markets, monetary policy can affect household decisions through the cost of new mortgage borrowing and the value of payments on outstanding debt. These channels are distinct from the transmission through real interest rates. A stylized general equilibrium model incorporating these features is developed. Persistent monetary policy shocks, resembling the level factor in the nominal yield curve, have larger real effects than transitory shocks. The transmission is stronger under adjustable- than fixed-rate mortgages. Higher, persistent, inflation benefits homeowners under FRMs but hurts them under ARMs.
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This paper was revised on September 10, 2015
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19744
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