This paper is now published in Econometrica.
We study the transmission of monetary policy through risk premia in a heterogeneous agent New Keynesian environment. Heterogeneity in households’ marginal propensity to take risk (MPR) summarizes differences in portfolio choice on the margin. An unexpected reduction in the nominal interest rate redistributes to households with high MPRs, lowering risk premia and amplifying the stimulus to the real economy. Quantitatively, this mechanism rationalizes the role of news about future excess returns in driving the stock market response to monetary policy shocks and amplifies their real effects by 1.3-1.5 times.