This paper examines the role of the refinancing channel and the mortgage market structure for the transmission of monetary policy to consumption. First, I document heterogeneous consumption responses to monetary policy shocks. I find a large consumption response for homeowners who refinance or enter new loans, which is concentrated among younger people. Second, I develop a life-cycle model with fixed rate mortgages that explains these facts. Moving from a fixed to a variable rate mortgage structure reduces the heterogeneous effects of monetary policy on consumption by age. At the same time, the aggregate effects of monetary policy on consumption are increased substantially.
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