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The Flight-to-Liquidity Premium in U.S. Treasury Bond Prices

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  • Francis A. Longstaff

Abstract

We examine whether there is a flight-to-liquidity premium in Treasury bond prices by comparing them with prices of bonds issued by Refcorp, a U.S. Government agency, which are guaranteed by the Treasury. We find a large liquidity premium in Treasury bonds, which can be more than fifteen percent of the value of some Treasury bonds. This liquidity premium is related to changes in consumer confidence, the amount of Treasury debt available to investors, and flows into equity and money market mutual funds. This suggests that the popularity of Treasury bonds directly a.ects their value.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9312.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Publication status: published as Longstaff, Francis A. "The Flight-to-Liquidity Premium in U.S. Treasury Bond Prices." Journal of Business 77, 3 (July 2004): 511-26.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9312

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  1. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1986. "An Operational Measure of Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 43-55, March.
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  12. Mark Grinblatt & Francis A. Longstaff, 2000. "Financial Innovation and the Role of Derivative Securities: An Empirical Analysis of the Treasury STRIPS Program," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1415-1436, 06.
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  14. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1996. "Modeling Aggregate Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 187-91, May.
  15. Longstaff, Francis A., 2000. "The term structure of very short-term rates: New evidence for the expectations hypothesis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 397-415, December.
  16. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  17. Liu, Jun & Longstaff, Francis A, 2000. "Losing Money on Arbitrages: Optimal Dynamic Portfolio Choice in Markets with Arbitrage Opportunities," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt48k8f97f, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  18. Kamara, A., 1988. "Trading Structures And Asset Pricing: Evidence From The Treasury Bill Markets," Papers, Columbia - Center for Futures Markets 169, Columbia - Center for Futures Markets.
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