April 2013

Economic Volatility and Financial Markets: The Case of Mortgage-Backed Securities

Gaetano Antinolfi and Celso Brunetti


The volatility of aggregate economic activity in the United States decreased markedly in the mid eighties. The decrease involved several components of GDP and has been linked to a more stable economic environment, identified by smaller shocks and more effective policy, and a diverse set of innovations related to inventory management as well as financial markets. We document a negative relation between the volatility of GDP and some of its components and one such financial development: the emergence of mortgage-backed securities. We also document that this relationship changed sign, from negative to positive, in the early 2000's.

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Keywords: Mortgage backed securities, volatility, great moderation

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Last Update: June 26, 2020