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The authors study how the structure of housing finance affects the transmission of monetary policy shocks. They document three main facts: first, the features of residential mortgage markets differ markedly across industrialized countries; second, and according to a wide range of indicators, the transmission of monetary policy shocks to residential investment and house prices is significantly stronger in those countries with larger flexibility/development of mortgage markets; third, the transmission to consumption is stronger only in those countries where mortgage equity release is common and mortgage contracts are predominantly of the variable-rate type.
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