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Explaining the US bond yield conundrum

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  • Harm Bandholz
  • Jorg Clostermann
  • Franz Seitz

Abstract

We analyse if and to what extent fundamental macroeconomic factors, temporary influences or more structural factors have contributed to the low levels of US bond yields over the last few years. For that purpose, we start with a general model of interest rate determination. The empirical part consists of a cointegration analysis with an error-correction mechanism. We are able to establish a stable long-run relationship and find that the behaviour of bond yields, even during the last years, can be well explained by macroeconomic and structural factors. Alongside the more traditional determinants like core inflation, monetary policy and the business cycle, we also include foreign holdings of US Treasuries. The latter should capture the frequently mentioned structural effects on long-term interest rates. Finally, our bond yield equation outperforms a random walk model in different forecasting exercises.

Suggested Citation

  • Harm Bandholz & Jorg Clostermann & Franz Seitz, 2009. "Explaining the US bond yield conundrum," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(7), pages 539-550.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:19:y:2009:i:7:p:539-550
    DOI: 10.1080/09603100801964370
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    Cited by:

    1. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Girardi, Alessandro, 2013. "Fiscal spillovers in the Euro area," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 84.1-84.16.
    2. Thomas Goda & Photis Lysandrou, 2014. "The contribution of wealth concentration to the subprime crisis: a quantitative estimation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 301-327.
    3. Photis Lysandrou, 2014. "Post-Keynesian stock-flow models after the subprime crisis: the need for micro-foundations," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 11(1), pages 113-126, April.
    4. Goda, Thomas & Lysandrou, Photis & Stewart, Chris, 2013. "The contribution of US bond demand to the US bond yield conundrum of 2004–2007: An empirical investigation," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 113-136.
    5. Schalast, Christoph & Tiemann, Marcel & Tuppi, Pascal, 2009. "Staatsfonds - neue Akteure an den Finanzmärkten?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 114, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    6. Luis Eduardo Arango & Wilmar Cabrera & Esteban Gómez & Juan Carlos Mendoza, 2013. "Tasa de interés de largo plazo, interés técnico y pasivo pensional," Borradores de Economia 796, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    7. Carvalho, Daniel & Fidora, Michael, 2015. "Capital inflows and euro area long-term interest rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 186-204.
    8. Thomas Goda & Photis Lysandrou & Chris Stewart, 2011. "The contribution of us bond demand to the us bond yield conundrum of 2004 to 2007: an empirical investigation," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010719, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    9. Bruno Ducoudre, 2008. "Structure par terme des taux d’intérêt et anticipations de la politique économique," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5221, Sciences Po.
    10. Arvind Subramanian, 2011. "Renminbi Rules: The Conditional Imminence of the Reserve Currency Transition," Working Paper Series WP11-14, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    11. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E47 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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