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Taylor rules, McCallum rules and the term structure of interest rates

  • Gallmeyer, Michael F.
  • Hollifield, Burton
  • Zin, Stanley E.

Recent empirical research shows that a reasonable characterization of federal-funds-rate targeting behavior is that the change in the target rate depends on the maturity structure of interest rates and exhibits little dependence on lagged target rates. See, for example, Cochrane and Piazzesi (2002). The result echoes the policy rule used by McCallum (1994) to rationalize the empirical failure of the `expectations hypothesis' applied to the term- structure of interest rates. That is, rather than forward rates acting as unbiased predictors of future short rates, the historical evidence suggests that the correlation between forward rates and future short rates is surprisingly low. McCallum showed that a desire by the monetary authority to adjust short rates in response to exogenous shocks to the term premiums imbedded in long rates (i.e. "yield-curve smoothing"), along with a desire for smoothing interest rates across time, can generate term structures that account for the puzzling regression results of Fama and Bliss (1987). McCallum also clearly pointed out that this reduced-form approach to the policy rule, although naturally forward looking, needed to be studied further in the context of other response functions such as the now standard Taylor (1993) rule. We explore both the robustness of McCallum's result to endogenous models of the term premium and also its connections to the Taylor Rule. We model the term premium endogenously using two different models in the class of affine term structure models studied in Duffie and Kan (1996): a stochastic volatility model and a stochastic price-of- risk model. We then solve for equilibrium term structures in environments in which interest rate targeting follows a rule such as the one suggested by McCallum (i.e., the "McCallum Rule"). We demonstrate that McCallum's original result generalizes in a natural way to this broader class of models. To understand the connection to the Taylor Rule, we then conside

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 52 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 921-950

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:52:y:2005:i:5:p:921-950
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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