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A Search-Theoretic Model of the Term Premium

  • Athanasios Geromichalos
  • Lucas Herrenbrueck
  • Kevin Salyer

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

A consistent empirical feature of bond yields is that term premia are, on average, positive. That is, investors in long term bonds receive higher returns than investors in similar (i.e.\ same default risk) shorter maturity bonds over the same holding period. The majority of theoretical explanations for this observation have viewed the term premia through the lens of the consumption based capital asset pricing model. In contrast, we harken to an older empirical literature which attributes the term premium to the idea that short maturity bonds are inherently more liquid. The goal of this paper is to provide a theoretical justification of this concept. To that end, we employ a model in the tradition of modern monetary theory extended to include assets of different maturities. Short term assets always mature in time to take advantage of random consumption opportunities. Long term assets do not, but agents may liquidate them in a secondary asset market, characterized by search-and-bargaining frictions a la Duffie, Garleanu, and Pedersen (2005). In equilibrium, long term assets have higher rates of return to compensate agents for their relative lack of liquidity. Consistent with empirical findings, our model predicts a steeper yield curve for assets that trade in less liquid secondary markets.

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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 138.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: 14 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:13-8
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  1. Benjamin Lester & Andrew Postlewaite & Randall Wright, 2012. "Information, Liquidity, Asset Prices, and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1209-1238.
  2. Dimitri Vayanos & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2008. "A Search-Based Theory of the On-the-Run Phenomenon," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1361-1398, 06.
  3. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2003. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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  6. Boel, Paola & Camera, Gabriele, 2006. "Efficient monetary allocations and the illiquidity of bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1693-1715, October.
  7. Warga, Arthur, 1992. "Bond Returns, Liquidity, and Missing Data," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 605-617, December.
  8. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lagos, Ricardo & Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2008. "Money and capital as competing media of exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 247-258, September.
  10. Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2011. "Payments and liquidity under adverse selection," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 191-205.
  11. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera & Christopher Waller, 2005. "Money, Credit and Banking," CESifo Working Paper Series 1617, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Refet S. G�rkaynak & Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 331-67, June.
  13. Ricardo Lagos, 2005. "Asset Prices and Liquidity in an Exchange Economy," 2005 Meeting Papers 143, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Jacquet, Nicolas L. & Tan, Serene, 2012. "Money and asset prices with uninsurable risks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 784-797.
  15. Ina Simonovska & Athanasios Geromichalos, 2011. "Asset Liquidity and International Portfolio Choice," 2011 Meeting Papers 756, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Athanasios Geromichalos & Juan M Licari & Jose Suarez-Lledo, 2007. "Monetary Policy and Asset Prices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 761-779, October.
  17. Aleksander Berentsen & Samuel Huber & Alessandro Marchesiani, 2011. "Free-riding on liquidity," ECON - Working Papers 032, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
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