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Mortgage Debt and Time-Varying Monetary Policy Transmission

Author

Listed:
  • David Finck

    (University of Giessen)

  • Joerg Schmidt

    (University of Giessen)

  • Peter Tillmann

    (University of Giessen)

Abstract

We study the role of monetary policy for the dynamics of U.S. mortgage debt, which is the largest component of household indebtedness. A time-varying parameter VAR model allows us to study the variation in the mortgage debt sensitivity to monetary policy. We find that an identically-sized policy shock became less effective over time. We use a DSGE model to show that a fall in the share of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) could replicate this finding. Calibrating the model to the drop in the ARM share since the 1980s yields a drop in the sensitivity of housing debt to monetary policy which is quantitatively similar to the VAR results. A sacrifice ratio for mortgage debt reveals that a policy tightening directed towards reducing household debt became more expensive in terms of a loss in employment. Counterfactuals show that this result cannot be attributed to changes in monetary policy itself. The results are consistent with the "mortgage rate conundrum" found by Justiniano et al. (2017) and have strong implications for policy.

Suggested Citation

  • David Finck & Joerg Schmidt & Peter Tillmann, 2018. "Mortgage Debt and Time-Varying Monetary Policy Transmission," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201809, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201809
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    4. Fergus Cumming & Paul Hubert, 2019. "The Role of Households' Borrowing Constraints in the Transmission of Monetary Policy This paper investigates how the transmission of monetary policy to the real economy depends on the distribution of ," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2019-20, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    mortgage debt; monetary policy; deleveraging; time-varying VAR; DSGE;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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