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Incomplete markets, liquidation risk, and the term structure of interest rates

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  • Challe, Edouard
  • Le Grand, François
  • Ragot, Xavier

Abstract

We analyse the term structure of interest rates in a general equilibrium model with incomplete markets, borrowing constraint, and positive net supply of government bonds. Uninsured idiosyncratic shocks generate bond trades, while aggregate shocks cause fluctuations in the trading price of bonds. Long bonds command a “liquidation risk premium” over short bonds, because they may have to be liquidated before maturity – following a bad idiosyncratic shock – precisely when their resale value is low – due to the simultaneous occurrence of a bad aggregate shock. Our framework endogenously generates limited cross-sectional wealth heterogeneity among the agents (despite the presence of uninsured idiosyncratic shocks), which allows us to characterise analytically the shape of the entire yield curve, including the yields on bonds of arbitrarily long maturities. Agentsʼ desire to hedge the idiosyncratic risk together with their fear of having to liquidate long bonds at unfavourable terms implies that a greater bond supply raises the level of the yield curve, while an increase in the relative supply of long bonds raises its slope.

Suggested Citation

  • Challe, Edouard & Le Grand, François & Ragot, Xavier, 2013. "Incomplete markets, liquidation risk, and the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2483-2519.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:148:y:2013:i:6:p:2483-2519 DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2013.10.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Allais & Yann Algan & Edouard Challe & Xavier Ragot, 2015. "The Welfare Cost of Inflation Risk Under Imperfect Insurance," Working Papers hal-01169656, HAL.
    2. Edouard Challe & Xavier Ragot, 2010. "Aggregate Consumption in Times of Crisis: The Role of Financial Frictions," Post-Print halshs-00944933, HAL.
    3. François Grand & Xavier Ragot, 2016. "Incomplete markets and derivative assets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(3), pages 517-545, August.
    4. Gabriel Desgranges & Celine Rochon, 2014. "Optimal Maturity Structure of Sovereign Debt in Situation of Near Default," IMF Working Papers 14/168, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Geromichalos, Athanasios & Herrenbrueck, Lucas M. & Salyer, Kevin D., 2016. "A search-theoretic model of the term premium," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    6. Edouard Challe & Xavier Ragot, 2010. "Aggregate Consumption in Times of Crisis: The Role of Financial Frictions -super-1," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(4), pages 627-648, December.
    7. Xavier Ragot & Francois Le Grand, 2010. "Prices and volumes of options: A simple theory of risk sharing when markets are incomplete," 2010 Meeting Papers 300, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Tiago Berriel & Rodrigo Abreu, 2015. "Long Term Debt and Credit Crisis in a Liquidity Constrained Economy," Textos para discussão 644, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    9. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-01157168 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incomplete markets; Borrowing constraint; Yield curve;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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