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Demographics and the Behavior of Interest Rates

Author

Listed:
  • Carlo A. Favero

    (Bocconi University
    IGIER Bocconi University & CEPR)

  • Arie E. Gozluklu

    (The University of Warwick)

  • Haoxi Yang

    (Nankai University)

Abstract

Interest rates are very persistent. Modeling the persistent component of interest rates has important consequence for forecasting. Factor models of the term structure are restricted VAR models that project over a long-horizon the one-period risk-free rate to obtain yields at longer horizon as the sum of the expected future monetary policy and the term premia. The included factors are typically mean reverting and the equilibrium real rates are considered constant (think, for example, of the standard Taylor rule), partial adjustments to equilibrium yields are then used to rationalize the persistence in the observed data. As a result, the empirical models feature a very high level of persistence that makes long-horizon predictions inherently inaccurate. This paper relates the common persistent component of the U.S. term structure of interest rates to the age composition of population. The composition of age structure determines the equilibrium rate in the monetary policy rule and therefore the persistent component in one-period yields. Fluctuations in demographics are then transmitted to the whole-term structure via the expected policy rate components. We build an affine term structure model (ATSM) which exploits demographic information to capture the dynamics of yields and produce useful forecasts of bond yields and excess returns that provide economic value for long-term investors.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo A. Favero & Arie E. Gozluklu & Haoxi Yang, 2016. "Demographics and the Behavior of Interest Rates," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(4), pages 732-776, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:64:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1057_s41308-016-0020-2
    DOI: 10.1057/s41308-016-0020-2
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    6. Stolyarov, Dmitriy & Tesar, Linda L., 2021. "Interest rate trends in a global context," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    7. Giuseppe Ferrero & Marco Gross & Stefano Neri, 2019. "On secular stagnation and low interest rates: Demography matters," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 262-278, December.
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    9. Jens H. E. Christensen & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2019. "A New Normal for Interest Rates? Evidence from Inflation-Indexed Debt," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(5), pages 933-949, December.
    10. Jiazi Chen & Zhiwu Hong & Linlin Niu, 2022. "Forecasting Interest Rates with Shifting Endpoints: The Role of the Demographic Age Structure," Working Papers 2022-06-25, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
    11. Lang, Jan Hannes & Welz, Peter, 2018. "Semi-structural credit gap estimation," Working Paper Series 2194, European Central Bank.
    12. Gilles Dufrenot & Meryem Rhouzlane, 2018. "Secular Stagnation: New Challenges for the Industrialized Countries in the 21st Century," AMSE Working Papers 1818, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
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    15. Andrea Ferrero & Carlos Carvalho, 2013. "What Explains Japan's Persistent Deflation?," 2013 Meeting Papers 1163, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Keywords

    E43; E44; J11;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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