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Mortgage Amortization and Amplification


  • Chiara Forlati

    () (Chair of International Finance, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland)

  • Luisa Lambertini

    () (Chair of International Finance, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland)


Mortgages characterized by negative or low early amortization schedules amplify the macroeconomic effects of a housing risk shock. We analyze the role of mortgage amortization in a two-sector DSGE model with housing risk and endogenous default. Mortgage loan contracts extend to two periods and have adjustable rates. The fraction of principal to be repaid in the first period can vary. As the fraction of principal to be paid in the first period falls, steady-state mortgages and leverage increase and the impact of a housing risk shock on consumption and output is amplified. Borrowers prefer negative amortization. If free to choose the amortization schedule, borrowers would repay most of the principal in the last period of the contract. Low early repayments of principal allow borrowers to hold on to their housing stock and postpone default to the second period having incurred small sunk costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiara Forlati & Luisa Lambertini, 2012. "Mortgage Amortization and Amplification," Working Papers 201201, Center for Fiscal Policy, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, revised Feb 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:cif:wpaper:201201

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chiara Forlati & Luisa Lambertini, 2011. "Risky Mortgages in a DSGE Model," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(1), pages 285-335, March.
    2. Alessandro Calza & Tommaso Monacelli & Livio Stracca, 2013. "Housing Finance And Monetary Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 101-122, January.
    3. Sterk, Vincent, 2010. "Credit frictions and the comovement between durable and non-durable consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 217-225, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stepanchuk Serhiy & Ádám Reiff, 2012. "11th Annual Macroeconomic Policy Research Workshop at MNB: Microeconomic Behavior and its Macroeconomic Implications During the Financial Crisis," MNB Bulletin (discontinued), Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 7(3), pages 67-72, October.
    2. Alpanda, Sami & Zubairy, Sarah, 2017. "Addressing household indebtedness: Monetary, fiscal or macroprudential policy?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 47-73.

    More about this item


    Housing; Mortgage default; Mortgage risk;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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