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A Portfolio-Balance Approach to the Nominal Term Structure

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  • King, Thomas B.

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

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    Abstract

    Explanations of why changes in the relative quantities of safe debt seem to affect asset prices often appeal informally to a “portfolio balance” mechanism. I show how this type of effect can be incorporated in a general class of structural, arbitrage-free asset-pricing models using a numerical solution method that allows for a wide range of nonlinearities. I consider some applications in which the Treasury market is isolated, investors have mean-variance preferences, and the short-rate process is truncated at zero. Despite its simplicity, a version of this model incorporating inflation can fit longer-term yields well, and it suggests that fluctuations in Treasury supply explain a sizeable fraction of the historical time-series variation in term premia. Nonetheless, under plausible parameterizations central-bank asset purchases have a fairly small impact on the yield curve by removing duration from the market, and these effects are particularly weak when interest rates are close to their zero lower bound.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-2013-18.

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    Length: 61 pages
    Date of creation: 20 Nov 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2013-18

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    Related research

    Keywords: Yield curve; LSAP; quantitative easing; preferred habitat forward guidance;

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    References

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    1. Taeyoung Doh, 2010. "The efficacy of large-scale asset purchases at the zero lower bound," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-34.
    2. Svensson, Lars E O, 1994. "Estimating and Interpreting Forward Interest Rates: Sweden 1992-4," CEPR Discussion Papers 1051, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Robin Greenwood & Dimitri Vayanos, 2010. "Price pressure in the government bond market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28618, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Roley, V Vance, 1982. "The Effect of Federal Debt-Management Policy on Corporate Bond and Equity Yields," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 645-68, November.
    5. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart & Brian P. Sack, 2004. "Monetary Policy Alternatives at the Zero Bound: An Empirical Assessment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 1-100.
    6. Stefania D’Amico & William English & David López‐Salido & Edward Nelson, 2012. "The Federal Reserve's Large‐scale Asset Purchase Programmes: Rationale and Effects," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F415-F446, November.
    7. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2011. "The Effectiveness of Alternative Monetary Policy Tools in a Zero Lower Bound Environment," NBER Working Papers 16956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Asset Prices and Asset Quantities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 380-389, 04-05.
    9. Joseph Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian Sack, 2011. "Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve: did they work?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 41-59.
    10. Kenneth Kuttner, 2006. "Can Central Banks Target Bond Prices?," NBER Working Papers 12454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jack Meaning & Feng Zhu, 2011. "The impact of recent central bank asset purchase programmes," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
    12. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2012. "The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 233 - 267.
    13. D’Amico, Stefania & King, Thomas B., 2013. "Flow and stock effects of large-scale treasury purchases: Evidence on the importance of local supply," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 425-448.
    14. Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1985. "Portfolio Crowding-out, Empirically Estimated," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 1041-65, Supp..
    15. Canlin Li & Min Wei, 2012. "Term structure modelling with supply factors and the Federal Reserve's Large Scale Asset Purchase programs," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. Friedman, Benjamin M, 1980. "The Effect of Shifting Wealth Ownership on the Term Structure of Interest Rates: The Case of Pensions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 567-90, May.
    17. Carlo Rosa, 2012. "How "unconventional" are large-scale asset purchases? The impact of monetary policy on asset prices," Staff Reports 560, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    18. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
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