IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Measuring the Effect of the Zero Lower Bound on Medium- and Longer-Term Interest Rates

Listed author(s):
  • Eric T. Swanson
  • John C. Williams

According to standard macroeconomic models, the zero lower bound greatly reduces the effectiveness of monetary policy and increases the efficacy of fiscal policy. However, private-sector decisions depend on the entire path of expected future short-term interest rates, not just the current short-term rate. Put differently, longer-term yields matter. We show how to measure the zero bound's effects on yields of any maturity. Indeed, 1- and 2-year Treasury yields were surprisingly unconstrained throughout 2008 to 2010, suggesting that monetary and fiscal policy were about as effective as usual during this period. Only beginning in late 2011 did these yields become more constrained.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.104.10.3154
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/10410/20130122_data.zip
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/app/10410/20130122_app.pdf
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/10410/20130122_ds.zip
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 3154-3185

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:10:p:3154-85
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.10.3154
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian T. & Swanson, Eric P., 2007. "Market-Based Measures of Monetary Policy Expectations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 201-212, April.
  2. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2011. "What Fiscal Policy is Effective at Zero Interest Rates?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25, pages 59-112 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chan, K C, et al, 1992. " An Empirical Comparison of Alternative Models of the Short-Term Interest Rate," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1209-1227, July.
  4. Hansen, Lars Peter & Heaton, John & Yaron, Amir, 1996. "Finite-Sample Properties of Some Alternative GMM Estimators," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 262-280, July.
  5. 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.
  6. Vayanos, Dimitri & Vila, Jean-Luc, 2009. "A preferred-habitat model of the term structure of interest rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Alternative Monetary Policy Tools in a Zero Lower Bound Environment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 3-46, February.
  8. Eric T. Swanson & John C. Williams, 2014. "Measuring the Effect of the Zero Lower Bound on Medium- and Longer-Term Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3154-3185, October.
  9. Reifschneider, David & Willams, John C, 2000. "Three Lessons for Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Era," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 936-966, November.
  10. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes, 2007. "Loose commitment," International Finance Discussion Papers 916, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Refet S Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
  12. Eric T. Swanson, 2011. "Let's Twist Again: A High-Frequency Event-study Analysis of Operation Twist and Its Implications for QE2," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 151-207.
  13. Viatcheslav Gorovoi & Vadim Linetsky, 2004. "Black's Model of Interest Rates as Options, Eigenfunction Expansions and Japanese Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 49-78.
  14. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 495-514.
  15. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
  16. Schaumburg, Ernst & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2007. "An investigation of the gains from commitment in monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 302-324, March.
  17. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 2012. "Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(1 (Spring), pages 233-297.
  18. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2004. "Conducting Monetary Policy at Very Low Short-Term Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 85-90, May.
  19. Kim, Don H. & Singleton, Kenneth J., 2012. "Term structure models and the zero bound: An empirical investigation of Japanese yields," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 170(1), pages 32-49.
  20. Piazzesi, Monika & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 677-691, May.
  21. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Clara Vega, 2003. "Micro Effects of Macro Announcements: Real-Time Price Discovery in Foreign Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 38-62, March.
  22. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
  23. Sack, Brian & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Interest-rate smoothing and optimal monetary policy: a review of recent empirical evidence," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 205-228.
  24. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
  25. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 2012. "Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(1 (Spring), pages 233-297.
  26. David L. Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2000. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low-inflation era," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 936-978.
  27. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 215-287.
  28. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2007. "The Demand for Treasury Debt," NBER Working Papers 12881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  30. Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "What does Monetary Policy do to Long‐term Interest Rates at the Zero Lower Bound?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages 447-466, November.
  31. Refet S Gürkaynak & Andrew Levin & Eric Swanson, 2010. "Does Inflation Targeting Anchor Long-Run Inflation Expectations? Evidence from the U.S., UK, and Sweden," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1208-1242, December.
  32. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Paul Krugman, 2012. "Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1469-1513.
  33. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2016. "Monetary Policy Expectations at the Zero Lower Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(7), pages 1439-1465, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:10:p:3154-85. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.