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Author:Christensen, Jens H. E. 

Journal Article
TIPS and the risk of deflation

The low level of inflation and the sluggish pace of economic recovery have raised concerns about sustained deflation?an inflation rate below zero with a general fall in prices. However, the relative prices of inflation-indexed and non-indexed Treasury bonds, which historically have proven to be good measures of inflation expectations, suggest that financial market participants consider the probability of deflation to be low.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Do Fed TIPS purchases affect market liquidity?

The second round of Federal Reserve large-scale asset purchases, from November 2010 to June 2011, included regular purchases of Treasury inflation-protected securities, or TIPS. An analysis of liquidity premiums indicates that the functioning of the TIPS market and the related inflation swap market improved both on the days the Fed purchased TIPS and over the course of the LSAP program. Thus, TIPS purchases had liquidity benefits beyond the effect they may have had in reducing Treasury yields.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Do Adjustment Lags Matter for Inflation-Indexed Bonds?

Some governments sell bonds that protect against variation in inflation. Payments of these bonds are adjusted in response to official inflation measurements with a lag. Considering the effects of such lags could matter both for understanding market-based measures of inflation compensation and for governments deciding what type of inflation-indexed securities to issue. Analyzing pairs of U.K. bonds with almost identical maturities but different lags in inflation adjustment suggests that the lag length matters mainly close to maturity, when seasonality in the underlying price index plays a role.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Inflation expectations and risk premiums in an arbitrage-free model of nominal and real bond yields

Differences between yields on comparable-maturity U.S. Treasury nominal and real debt, the so-called breakeven inflation (BEI) rates, are widely used indicators of inflation expectations. However, better measures of inflation expectations could be obtained by subtracting inflation risk premiums from the BEI rates. We provide such decompositions using an estimated affine arbitrage-free model of the term structure that captures the pricing of both nominal and real Treasury securities. Our empirical results suggest that long-term inflation expectations have been well anchored over the past few ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2008-34

Working Paper
Assessing Abenomics: Evidence from Inflation-Indexed Japanese Government Bonds

We assess the impact of news concerning the reforms associated with ?Abenomics? using an arbitrage-free term structure model of nominal and real yields. Our model explicitly accounts for the deflation protection enhancement embedded in Japanese inflation-indexed bonds issued since 2013, which pay their original nominal principal when deflation has occurred from issue to maturity. The value of this enhancement is sizable and time-varying, with substantive impacts on estimates of expected inflation compensation. After properly accounting for deflation protection, our results suggest that ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-15

Working Paper
Pricing deflation risk with U.S. Treasury yields

We use an arbitrage-free term structure model with spanned stochastic volatility to determine the value of the deflation protection option embedded in Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS). The model accurately prices the deflation protection option prior to the financial crisis when its value was near zero; at the peak of the crisis in late 2008 when deflationary concerns spiked sharply; and in the post-crisis period. During 2009, the average value of this option at the five-year maturity was 41 basis points on a par-yield basis.
Working Paper Series , Paper 2012-07

Working Paper
Bond Flows and Liquidity: Do Foreigners Matter?

In their search for yield in the current low interest rate environment, many investors have turned to sovereign debt in emerging economies, which has raised concerns about risks to financial stability from these capital flows. To assess this risk, we study the effects of changes in the foreign-held share of Mexican sovereign bonds on their liquidity premiums. We find that recent increases in foreign holdings of these securities have played a significant role in driving up their liquidity premiums. Provided the higher compensation for bearing liquidity risk is commensurate with the chance of a ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-8

Working Paper
Accounting for Low Long-Term Interest Rates: Evidence from Canada

In recent decades, long-term interest rates around the world have fallen to historic lows. We examine this decline using a dynamic term structure model of Canadian nominal and real yields with adjustments for term, liquidity, and inflation risk premiums. Canada provides a useful case study that has been little examined despite its established indexed debt market, negligible distortions from monetary quantitative easing or the zero lower bound, and no sovereign credit risk. We find that since 2000, the steady-state real interest rate has fallen by more than 2 percentage points, long-term ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2020-35

Journal Article
Coronavirus and the Risk of Deflation

The pandemic caused by COVID-19 represents an unprecedented negative shock to the global economy that is likely to severely depress economic activity in the near term. Could the crisis also put substantial downward pressure on price inflation? One way to assess the potential risk to the inflation outlook is by analyzing prices of standard and inflation-indexed government bonds. The probability of declining price levels—or deflation—among four major countries within the next year indicates that the perceived risk remains muted, despite the recent economic turmoil.
FRBSF Economic Letter , Volume 2020 , Issue 11 , Pages 5

Journal Article
Differing views on long-term inflation expectations

Persistently low price inflation, falling energy prices, and a strengthening dollar have helped push down market-based measures of long-term inflation compensation over the past two years. The decline in inflation compensation could reflect a lower appetite for risk among investors or decreased market liquidity. A third alternative supported by recent research suggests that the decline reflects lower long-term inflation expectations among investors. Projections indicate the underlying expectations will revert back to typical long-run levels only slowly.
FRBSF Economic Letter

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