Around and Around: The Expectations Hypothesis
We show how to construct arbitrage-free models of he term structure of interest rates in which various expectations hypotheses can hold. McCulloch (1993) provided a Gaussian non-Markovian example of the unbiased expectations hypothesis (U--EH), thereby contradicting the assertion by Cox, Ingersoll, and Ross (CIR, 1981) that only the so-called local expectations hypothesis could hold. We generalize that example in three ways: (i) We characterize the U--EH in terms of forward rates; (ii) we extend this characterization to a class of expectations hypotheses that includes all of those considered ...
A Comparison of Fed "Tightening" Episodes since the 1980s
Deciding to undertake a series of tightening actions present unique challenges for Federal Reserve policymakers. These challenges are both political and economic. Using a variety of economic and financial market metrics, this article examines how the economy and financial markets evolved in response to the five tightening episodes enacted by the FOMC since 1983. The primary aim is to compare the most-recent episode, from December 2015 to December 2018, with the previous four episodes. The findings in this article indicate that the current episode bears some resemblance to previous Fed ...
Maturity Structure and Liquidity Risk
This paper studies the optimal maturity structure for government debt when markets for liquidity insurance are incomplete or non-competitive. There is no fiscal risk. Government debt in the model solves a dynamic inefficiency. Issuing debt in short and long maturities solves a liquidity insurance problem, but optimal yield curve policy is only possible if long-duration debt is rendered illiquid. Optimal policy is implementable through treasury operations only--adjustments in the primary deficit are not necessary.
Nominal rigidities in debt and product markets
Standard models used for monetary policy analysis rely on sticky prices. Recently, the literature started to explore also nominal debt contracts. Focusing on mortgages, this paper compares the two channels of transmission within a common framework. The sticky price channel is dominant when shocks to the policy interest rate are temporary, the mortgage channel is important when the shocks are persistent. The first channel has significant aggregate effects but small redistributive effects. The opposite holds for the second channel. Using yield curve data decomposed into temporary and persistent ...
Yield curve and monetary policy expectations in small open economies
This paper estimates a New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model in small open economies using the yield curve data as well as standard macro data. The DSGE model is estimated on the data of three inflation-targeting small open economies (Australia, Canada, and New Zealand) using Bayesian methods. We find that the long-end of the yield curve is highly correlated with the current and future short-term interest rates determined by domestic central banks. Yield curve data are particularly informative about the future stance of monetary policy in Australia and Canada in ...
Resolving the spanning puzzle in macro-finance term structure models
Previous macro-finance term structure models (MTSMs) imply that macroeconomic state variables are spanned by (i.e., perfectly correlated with) model-implied bond yields. However, this theoretical implication appears inconsistent with regressions showing that much macroeconomic variation is unspanned and that the unspanned variation helps forecast excess bond returns and future macroeconomic fluctuations. We resolve this contradiction?or ?spanning puzzle??by reconciling spanned MTSMs with the regression evidence, thus salvaging the previous macro-finance literature. Furthermore, we ...
Have Yield Curve Inversions Become More Likely?
The recent flattening of the yield curve has raised concerns that a recession is around the corner. Such concerns stem partly from the fact that yield curve inversions have preceded each of the past seven recessions. However, other factors affect the yield curve's shape besides the expected future health of the economy. In particular, a low term premium ? as has been observed in recent years ? makes yield curve inversions more likely even if the risk of recession has not increased at all.
Jargon Alert of the Yield Curve
Affine term structure pricing with bond supply as factors
This paper presents a theoretical model for analyzing the effect of the maturity structure of government debt on the yield curve. It is an ATSM (affine term structure model) in which the factors for the yield curve include, in addition to the short rate, the government bond supply for each maturity. The supply shock is not restricted to be perfectly correlated across maturities. The effect on the yield curve of a bond supply shock that is local to a maturity is largest at the maturity. This hump-shaped response of the yield curve persists in spite of the absence of preferred-habitat investors.
Delphic and Odyssean Monetary Policy Shocks: Evidence from the Euro Area
What drives the strong reaction of financial markets to central bank communication on the days of policy decisions? We highlight the role of two factors that we identify from high-frequency monetary surprises: news on future macroeconomic conditions (Delphic shocks) and news on future monetary policy shocks (Odyssean shocks). These two shocks move theyield curve in the same direction but have opposite effects on financial conditions and macroeconomic expectations. A drop in future interest rates that is associated with a negative Delphic (Odyssean) shock is perceived as being contractionary ...