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The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt

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  • Arvind Krishnamurthy
  • Annette Vissing-Jorgensen

Abstract

Investors value the liquidity and safety of US Treasuries. We document this by showing that changes in Treasury supply have large effects on a variety of yield spreads. As a result, Treasury yields are reduced by 73 basis points, on average, from 1926 to 2008. Both the liquidity and safety attributes of Treasuries are driving this phenomenon. We document this by analyzing the spread between assets with different liquidity (but similar safety) and those with different safety (but similar liquidity). The low yield on Treasuries due to their extreme safety and liquidity suggests that Treasuries in important respects are similar to money.

Suggested Citation

  • Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2012. "The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 233-267.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/666526
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Guillaume Rocheteau, 2009. "A monetary approach to asset liquidity," Working Paper 0901, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    3. Gorton, Gary B., 2010. "Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199734153.
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