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QE: is there a portfolio balance effect?

Author

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  • Thornton, Daniel L.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

The Federal Open Market Committee has recently attempted to stimulate economic growth using unconventional methods. Prominent among these is quantitative easing (QE)—the purchase of a large quantity of longer-term debt on the assumption that it will reduce long-term yields through the portfolio balance channel. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and others suggest that QE works through the portfolio balance channel, which implies a strong, statistically significant positive relationship between the public’s holding of long-term Treasury debt and long-term Treasury yields. The author uses the econometric approach of Gagnon et al. (2011) and others to investigate the relationship between a variety of measures of the public’s debt holding and various yield measures in the literature. The empirical results provide virtually no support for the portfolio balance channel.

Suggested Citation

  • Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "QE: is there a portfolio balance effect?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 96(1), pages 55-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:00017
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    File URL: https://files.stlouisfed.org/files/htdocs/publications/review/2014/q1/thornton.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Neely, Christopher J., 2015. "Unconventional monetary policy had large international effects," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 101-111.
    4. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2014. "The Signaling Channel for Federal Reserve Bond Purchases," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 10(3), pages 233-289, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Orlowski, Lucjan T., 2015. "Monetary expansion and bank credit: A lack of spark," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 510-520.
    2. Belke, Angar & Gros, Daniel & Osowski, Thomas, 2017. "The effectiveness of the Fed’s quantitative easing policy: New evidence based on international interest rate differentials," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PB), pages 335-349.
    3. Martijn Boermans & Viacheslav Keshkov, 2018. "The impact of the ECB asset purchases on the European bond market structure: Granular evidence on ownership concentration," DNB Working Papers 590, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. repec:eee:jmacro:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:56-74 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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