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Search for yield and business cycles

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  • Oshima, Katsuhiro

Abstract

In the ultra-low interest rate environment after the financial crisis, it has been often pointed out that the “search for yield” behavior of financial institutions might have been intensifying interest rate decreases. One hypothesis to explain search for yield is that banks try to buy longer-term bonds even when they recognize negative term premiums in long-term rates because they myopically care about current portfolio income, not just expected holding-period returns. I study the potential impacts of this behavior on U.S. business cycles and long-term bond’s ex-post term premiums. I find that in an economy in which banks are exposed to the value-at-risk constraint, the existence of these myopic banks provides realistic moments of ex-post term premiums. In addition, their existence could generate higher output persistence under a productivity shock compared to an economy without them. This is because the difference between a myopic long-term bond pricing and a realized deposit rate path affects banks’ net worth. I study policy implications, too. In response to changes in the strength of banks’ capital regulation, the existence of myopic banks amplifies business cycles. Regarding monetary policy, it is necessary to consider ex-post term premiums, because ex-post term premiums tend to move in the same direction as the short-term interest rate and amplify business cycles in that direction when myopic banks exist.

Suggested Citation

  • Oshima, Katsuhiro, 2020. "Search for yield and business cycles," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:54:y:2020:i:c:s1062940820301698
    DOI: 10.1016/j.najef.2020.101275
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycle; Search for yield; Long-term real rates; Value-at-risk constraint;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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