Mortgage risk and the yield curve

BIS Working Papers No 532
December 2015

We study the feedback from the risk of outstanding mortgage-backed securities (MBS) on the level and volatility of interest rates. We incorporate the supply shocks resulting from changes in MBS duration into a parsimonious equilibrium dynamic term structure model and derive three predictions that are strongly supported in the data: (i) MBS duration positively predicts nominal and real excess bond returns, especially for longer maturities; (ii) the predictive power of MBS duration is transitory in nature; and (iii) MBS convexity increases interest rate volatility, and this effect has a hump-shaped term structure.

JEL classification: G12, G21, E43

Keywords: Term structure of interest rates, MBS, supply factor