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A Search-Theoretic Model of the Term Premium

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  • Athanasios Geromichalos
  • Lucas Herrenbrueck
  • Kevin Salyer

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Athanasios Geromichalos & Lucas Herrenbrueck & Kevin Salyer, 2013. "A Search-Theoretic Model of the Term Premium," Working Papers 138, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:13-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Huber, Samuel & Kim, Jaehong, 2017. "On the optimal quantity of liquid bonds," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 184-200.
    2. Athanasios Geromichalos & Lucas Herrenbrueck, 2016. "The Strategic Determination of the Supply of Liquid Assets," Working Papers 161, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    3. Lee, Seungduck, 2016. "Money, Asset Prices and the Liquidity Premium," MPRA Paper 75869, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Berentsen, Aleksander & Huber, Samuel & Marchesiani, Alessandro, 2016. "The societal benefit of a financial transaction tax," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 303-323.
    5. Herrenbrueck, Lucas & Geromichalos, Athanasios, 2017. "A tractable model of indirect asset liquidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 252-260.
    6. Lee, Seungduck, 2016. "Money, Asset Prices and the Liquidity Premium," MPRA Paper 73533, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Athanasios Geromichalos & Lucas Herrenbrueck, 2017. "The Liquidity-Augmented Model of Macroeconomic Aggregates," Discussion Papers dp17-16, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    8. Lee, Seungduck, 2016. "Money, Asset Prices and the Liquidity Premium," MPRA Paper 74615, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Jung, Kuk Mo & Pyun, Ju Hyun, 2016. "International reserves for emerging economies: A liquidity approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 230-257.
    10. Lee, Seungduck, 2016. "Money, Asset Prices and the Liquidity Premium," MPRA Paper 74010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Herrenbrueck, Lucas, 2014. "Quantitative Easing and the Liquidity Channel of Monetary Policy," MPRA Paper 70686, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Apr 2016.
    12. Williamson, Stephen D., 2016. "Scarce collateral, the term premium, and quantitative easing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 136-165.
    13. Jung, Kuk Mo, 2018. "Uncertainty-induced dynamic inefficiency and the optimal inflation rate," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 486-506.
    14. Lee, Seungduck, 2016. "Money, Asset Prices and the Liquidity Premium," MPRA Paper 73707, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Williamson, Stephen D., 2014. "Low Real Interest Rates, Collateral Misrepresentation, and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 2014-26, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 09 Sep 2016.
    16. Stephen Williamson, 2014. "Central Bank Purchases of Private Assets," 2014 Meeting Papers 208, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Julian Kozlowski, 2017. "Long-Term Finance and Economic Development: The Role of Liquidity in Corporate Debt Markets," 2017 Meeting Papers 699, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Athanasios, Geromichalos & Kuk Mo, Jung, 2016. "Monetary Policy and Efficiency in Over-the-Counter Financial Trade," MPRA Paper 71455, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary-search models; liquidity; over-the-counter markets; yield curve;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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