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A Simple Model of the Taxable and Tax-Exempt Yield Curves

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  • Green, Richard C

Abstract

I examine the anomalous behavior of the taxable and tax-exempt yield curves. Long municipal yields appear too high relative to the equivalent after-tax yield that can be earned in Treasury or corporate bonds. I discuss existing explanations of the problem and propose a simple model that relates the yields of taxable bonds to the yield curve for par tax exempts. The ratio of the tax-exempt yield to the taxable yield increases with maturity in the model, so it is consistent with observed phenomena such as inverted yield curves for taxables and contemporaneous rising yield curves for tax exempts. Statistical and descriptive comparisons between the yields predicted.by the model and observed yields on par bonds that the model has some promise in explaining the apparent anomalies in the behaviors of the two yield curves. Article published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies in its journal, The Review of Financial Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Green, Richard C, 1993. "A Simple Model of the Taxable and Tax-Exempt Yield Curves," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(2), pages 233-264.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:6:y:1993:i:2:p:233-64
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    Cited by:

    1. Rossi, Stefano & Yun, Hayong, 2015. "What Drives Financial Reform? Economics and Politics of the State-Level Adoption of Municipal Bankruptcy Laws," CEPR Discussion Papers 10984, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Richard C. Green & Burton Hollifield & Norman Schurhoff, "undated". "Financial Intermediation and the Costs of Trading in an Opaque Market," GSIA Working Papers 2004-11, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    3. Geromichalos, Athanasios & Herrenbrueck, Lucas M. & Salyer, Kevin D., 2016. "A search-theoretic model of the term premium," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    4. Cestau, Dario & Green, Richard C. & Schürhoff, Norman, 2013. "Tax-subsidized underpricing: The market for Build America Bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 593-608.
    5. Frank Milne & Xing Jin, 2006. "Taxation and Transaction Costs in a General Equilibrium Asset Economy," Working Papers 1111, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    6. Athanasios Geromichalos & Jiwon Lee & Seungduck Lee & Keita Oikawa, 2016. "Over-the-counter trade and the value of assets as collateral," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(3), pages 443-475, August.
    7. Junbo Wang & Chunchi Wu & Frank X. Zhang, 2005. "Liquidity, default, taxes and yields on municipal bonds," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. repec:bla:pbudge:v:37:y:2017:i:2:p:83-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Andrew Ang & Vineer Bhansali & Yuhang Xing, 2010. "Build America Bonds," NBER Working Papers 16008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Poterba, James M. & Verdugo, Arturo Ramírez, 2011. "Portfolio Substitution and the Revenue Cost of the Federal Income Tax Exemption for State and Local Government Bonds," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(2), pages 591-613, June.
    11. Benzoni, Luca & Goldstein, Robert S., 2015. "Estimating the Tax and Credit-Event Risk Components of Credit Spreads," Working Paper Series WP-2017-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, revised 07 Nov 2017.
    12. Poterba, James M., 2002. "Taxation, risk-taking, and household portfolio behavior," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 17, pages 1109-1171 Elsevier.
    13. Lorenz Kueng, 2014. "Tax News: The Response of Household Spending to Changes in Expected Taxes," NBER Working Papers 20437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Sinha, Pankaj & Bansal, Vishakha, 2014. "Interrelationship between taxes, capital structure decisions and value of the firm: A panel data study on Indian manufacturing firms," MPRA Paper 58310, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Jul 2014.
    15. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2012. "Fiscal Imbalances and Borrowing Costs: Evidence from State Investment Losses," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 182-213, May.
    16. Phillip Daves & Michael Ehrhardt, 2011. "Creating a synthetic after-tax zero-coupon bond using US Treasury STRIP bonds: implications for the true after-tax spot rate," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(10), pages 695-705.
    17. Babina, Tania & Jotikasthira, Chotibhak & Lundblad, Christian T & Ramadorai, Tarun, 2015. "Heterogenous Taxes and Limited Risk Sharing: Evidence from Municipal Bonds," CEPR Discussion Papers 10971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. N. Gregory Mankiw & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Stock Market Yields and the Pricing of Municipal Bonds," NBER Working Papers 5607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Gao Liu & Dwight V. Denison, 2014. "Indirect and Direct Subsidies for the Cost of Government Capital: Comparing Tax-Exempt Bonds and Build America Bonds," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 67(3), pages 569-594, September.

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