IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/fip/fedaer/y2001iq1p1-15nv.86no.1.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Forces that shape the yield curve

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Fisher

Abstract

The yield curve shows how the yield on a government bond depends on the bond's maturity. Monetary policymakers and observers pay special attention to the shape of the yield curve as an indicator of the economic impact of current and future monetary policy. Without the proper analytical tools, however, drawing inferences from the yield curve can be difficult. This article uses high-school algebra to introduce those tools in a rigorous but accessible way. ; The author develops the basic ideas about the yield curve using an analogy. Next, he discusses bond pricing in a world of perfect certainty, where no-arbitrage conditions are first worked out algebraically. The element of uncertainty is then added via a single flip of a coin, and the no-arbitrage conditions for bond prices are worked out for this scenario as well. These no-arbitrage conditions are shown to imply the existence of a risk premium that depends on the price of risk and the amount of risk. Finally, the article demonstrates how to translate the no-arbitrage condition for bond prices into a no-arbitrage condition for yields. ; The author concludes that convexity-the nonlinear relation between bond yields and bond prices-leads to surprising and even counterintuitive results in yield-curve analysis. A firm grasp of the no-arbitrage conditions is therefore necessary in order to make sense of the shape of the yield curve.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Fisher, 2001. "Forces that shape the yield curve," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2001:i:q1:p:1-15:n:v.86no.1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.frbatlanta.org/frbatlanta/filelegacydocs/fisher.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
    2. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "A Re-examination of Traditional Hypotheses about the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 769-799, September.
    3. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. GlennD. Rudebusch & Tao Wu, 2008. "A Macro-Finance Model of the Term Structure, Monetary Policy and the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 906-926, July.
    2. Durré, Alain & Evjen, Snorre & Pilegaard, Rasmus, 2003. "Estimating risk premia in money market rates," Working Paper Series 221, European Central Bank.
    3. Alain Durré, 2006. "The Liquidity Premium in the Money Market: A Comparison of the German Mark Period and the Euro Area," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 163-187, May.
    4. Mark Fisher, 2001. "Forces that shape the yield curve: Parts 1 and 2," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2001-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2001:i:q1:p:1-15:n:v.86no.1. 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: (Meredith Rector). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbatus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.