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The Liquidity Premium of Near-Money Assets

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  • Stefan Nagel

Abstract

This article examines the link between the opportunity cost of money and time-varying liquidity premia of near-money assets. Higher interest rates imply higher opportunity costs of holding money and hence a higher premium for the liquidity service benefits of assets that are close substitutes for money. Consistent with this theory, short-term interest rates in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada have a strong positive relationship with the liquidity premium of Treasury bills and other near-money assets over periods going back to the 1920s. Once the opportunity cost of money is taken into account, Treasury security supply variables lose their explanatory power for the liquidity premium, except for transitory short-run effects. These findings indicate a high elasticity of substitution between money and near-money assets. As a consequence, a central bank that follows an interest rate operating target not only elastically accommodates and neutralizes shocks to money demand, but effectively also shocks to near-money asset supply and demand.

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  • Stefan Nagel, 2016. "The Liquidity Premium of Near-Money Assets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1927-1971.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:131:y:2016:i:4:p:1927-1971.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjw028
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • 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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