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Modeling Yields at the Zero Lower Bound: Are Shadow Rates the Solution?

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Abstract

Recent U.S. Treasury yields have been constrained to some extent by the zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates. In modeling these yields, we compare the performance of a standard affine Gaussian dynamic term structure model (DTSM), which ignores the ZLB, and a shadow-rate DTSM, which respects the ZLB. We find that the standard affine model is likely to exhibit declines in fit and forecast performance with very low interest rates. In contrast, the shadow-rate model mitigates ZLB problems significantly and we document superior performance for this model class in the most recent period.

Suggested Citation

  • Christensen, Jens H.E. & Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2013. "Modeling Yields at the Zero Lower Bound: Are Shadow Rates the Solution?," Working Paper Series 2013-39, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2013-39
    DOI: 10.24148/wp2013-39
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    1. Collin-Dufresne, Pierre & Goldstein, Robert S. & Jones, Christopher S., 2009. "Can interest rate volatility be extracted from the cross section of bond yields?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 47-66, October.
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    4. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2012. "Correcting Estimation Bias in Dynamic Term Structure Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 454-467, April.
    5. Yoichi Ueno & Naohiko Baba & Yuji Sakurai, 2006. "The Use of the Black Model of Interest Rates as Options for Monitoring the JGB Market Expectations," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 06-E-15, Bank of Japan.
    6. Viatcheslav Gorovoi & Vadim Linetsky, 2004. "Black's Model of Interest Rates as Options, Eigenfunction Expansions and Japanese Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 49-78.
    7. Kim, Don H. & Orphanides, Athanasios, 2012. "Term Structure Estimation with Survey Data on Interest Rate Forecasts," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 241-272, April.
    8. Leo Krippner, 2013. "A tractable framework for zero lower bound Gaussian term structure models," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2013/02, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    9. Jens H. E. Christensen & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2012. "The Response of Interest Rates to US and UK Quantitative Easing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages 385-414, November.
    10. Torben G. Andersen & Luca Benzoni, 2010. "Do Bonds Span Volatility Risk in the U.S. Treasury Market? A Specification Test for Affine Term Structure Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(2), pages 603-653, April.
    11. Kim, Don H. & Singleton, Kenneth J., 2012. "Term structure models and the zero bound: An empirical investigation of Japanese yields," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 170(1), pages 32-49.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christensen, Jens H.E. & Lopez, Jose A. & Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2015. "A probability-based stress test of Federal Reserve assets and income," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 26-43.
    2. Carlos Viana de Carvalho & EriC Hsu & Fernanda Necchio, 2016. "Measuring the Effect of the Zero Lower Bound on Monetary Policy," Textos para discussão 649, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    3. Andrea Carriero & Sarah Mouabbi & Elisabetta Vangelista, 2015. "UK Term Structure Decompositions at the Zero Lower Bound," Working Papers 755, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. Kang, Kyu Ho, 2015. "The predictive density simulation of the yield curve with a zero lower bound," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 51-66.
    5. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2016. "Quantitative Easing: An Underappreciated Success," Policy Briefs PB16-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    6. Mamatzakis, Emmanuel & Bermpei, Theodora, 2016. "What is the effect of unconventional monetary policy on bank performance?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 239-263.
    7. repec:bfr:rueban:2017:52 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Benjamin Garcia & Arsenios Skaperdas, "undated". "Inferring the Shadow Rate from Real Activity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-106, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Monfort, Alain & Pegoraro, Fulvio & Renne, Jean-Paul & Roussellet, Guillaume, 2017. "Staying at zero with affine processes: An application to term structure modelling," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 201(2), pages 348-366.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    term structure modeling; zero lower bound; monetary policy.;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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