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Monetary policy and the term structure of interest rates

  • Bennett T. McCallum

This paper addresses a prominent empirical failure of the expectations theory of the term structure of interest rates under the assumption of rational expectations. This failure concerns the magnitude of slope coefficients in regressions of short rate (or long- rate) changes on long-short spreads. It is shown that the anomalous empirical findings can be rationalized with the expectations theory by recognition of an exogenous random (but possibly autoregressive) term premium plus the assumption that monetary policy involves smoothing of an interest rate instrument -- the short rate -- together with the responses to the prevailing level of the spread.

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File URL: http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/economic_quarterly/2005/fall/pdf/mccallum.pdf
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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its journal Economic Quarterly.

Volume (Year): (2005)
Issue (Month): Fall ()
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2005:i:fall:p:1-21:n:v.91no.4
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  1. Marvin Goodfriend, 1993. "Interest rate policy and the inflation scare problem: 1979-1992," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Monetary policy and the behavior of long-term interest rates," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 93-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1995. "Monetary policy and the behavior of long-term real interest rates," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 39-52.
  4. Kugler, Peter, 1988. "An Empirical Note on the Term Structure and Interest Rate Stabilization Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 789-92, November.
  5. Robert D. Laurent, 1988. "An interest rate-based indicator of monetary policy," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jan, pages 3-14.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1985. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 1669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Martin D. Evans & Karen K. Lewis, 1992. "Do Stationary Risk Premia Explain It All? Evidence from the Term Structure," Working Papers 92-11, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  8. Froot, Kenneth A, 1989. " New Hope for the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 283-305, June.
  9. Hardouvelis, Gikas A., 1994. "The term structure spread and future changes in long and short rates in the G7 countries: Is there a puzzle?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 255-283, April.
  10. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Scholarly Articles 3221490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Shiller, Robert J. & Huston McCulloch, J., 1990. "The term structure of interest rates," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 627-722 Elsevier.
  12. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
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