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Switching Monetary Policy Regimes and the Nominal Term Structure

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  • Ferman, Marcelo

Abstract

In this paper I propose a regime-switching approach to explain why the U.S. nominal yield curve on average has been steeper since the mid-1980s than during the Great Inflation of the 1970s. I show that, once the possibility of regime switches in the short-rate process is incorporated into investors' beliefs, the average slope of the yield curve generally will contain a new component called 'level risk'. Level-risk estimates, based on a Markov-Switching VAR model of the U.S. economy, are then provided. I find that the level risk was large and negative during the Great Inflation, reflecting a possible switch to lower short-rate levels in the future. Since the mid-1980s the level risk has been moderate and positive, reflecting a small but still relevant possibility of a return to the regime of the 1970s. I replicate these results in a Markov- Switching dynamic general equilibrium model, where the monetary policy rule followed by the Fed shifts between an active and a passive regime. The model also explains why in recent decades the U.S. yield curve on average has been steeper than the yield curve in countries that adopted explicit inflation targeting frameworks.

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  • Ferman, Marcelo, 2011. "Switching Monetary Policy Regimes and the Nominal Term Structure," Dynare Working Papers 5, CEPREMAP.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpm:dynare:005
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreasen, Martin, 2011. "An estimated DSGE model: explaining variation in term premia," Bank of England working papers 441, Bank of England.
    2. Ales Marsal & Lorant Kaszab & Roman Horvath, 2017. "Government Spending and the Term Structure of Interest Rates in a DSGE Model," Working and Discussion Papers WP 3/2017, Research Department, National Bank of Slovakia.
    3. Horváth, Roman & Maršál, Aleš, 2014. "The term structure of interest rates in a small open economy DSGE model with Markov switching," FinMaP-Working Papers 22, Collaborative EU Project FinMaP - Financial Distortions and Macroeconomic Performance: Expectations, Constraints and Interaction of Agents.

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