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Risk Premia at the ZLB: A Macroeconomic Interpretation

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  • Francois Gourio
  • Phuong Ngo

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Abstract

Historically, inflation is negatively correlated with stock returns, leading investors to fear inflation. We document using a variety of measures that this association became positive in the U.S. during the 2008-2015 period. We then show how an off-the-shelf New Keynesian model can reproduce this change of association due to the binding zero lower bound (ZLB) on short-term nominal interest rates during this period: in the model, demand shocks become more important when the ZLB binds because the central bank cannot respond as effectively as when interest rates are positive. This changing correlation in turn reduces the term premium, and hence contributes to explaining the decline in long-term interest rates. We use the model to evaluate this mechanism quantitatively. Our results shed light on the validity of the New Keynesian ZLB model, a cornerstone of modern macroeconomic theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Francois Gourio & Phuong Ngo, 2020. "Risk Premia at the ZLB: A Macroeconomic Interpretation," Working Paper Series WP 2020-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:87504
    DOI: 10.21033/wp-2020-01
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    Cited by:

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    2. Lorenzo Bretscher & Alex Hsu & Andrea Tamoni, 2017. "Level and Volatility Shocks to Fiscal Policy: Term Structure Implications," 2017 Meeting Papers 258, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Mohsan Bilal, 2017. "Zeroing in: Asset Pricing at the Zero Lower Bound," 2017 Meeting Papers 377, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Peter Hördahl & Oreste Tristani, 2019. "Modelling yields at the lower bound through regime shifts," BIS Working Papers 813, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Marco Bassetto & Wei Cui, 2018. "The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level in an Environment of Low Interest Rates," 2018 Meeting Papers 574, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Erica X.N. Li & Tao Zha & Ji Zhang & Hao Zhou, 2020. "Stock-bond Return Correlation, Bond Risk Premium Fundamental, and Fiscal-monetary Policy Regime," NBER Working Papers 27861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Deepa Datta & Benjamin K Johannsen & Hannah Kwon & Robert J Vigfusson, 2017. "Oil, equities, and the zero lower bound," BIS Working Papers 617, Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Bassetto, Marco & Cui, Wei, 2018. "The fiscal theory of the price level in a world of low interest rates," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 5-22.
    9. Ricardo Lagos & Shengxing Zhang, 2019. "A Monetary Model of Bilateral Over-the-Counter Markets," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 33, pages 205-227, July.
    10. Marcello Pericoli & Marco Taboga, 2018. "Nearly exact Bayesian estimation of non-linear no-arbitrage term structure models," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1189, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    11. Mitsuru Katagiri, 2018. "Equilibrium Yield Curve, the Phillips Curve, and Monetary Policy," IMF Working Papers 2018/242, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Stefano Neri & Giuseppe Ferrero, 2017. "Monetary policy in a low interest rate environment," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 392, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    13. Alberto Di Iorio & Marco Fanari, 2020. "Break-even inflation rates: the Italian case," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 578, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Liquidity trap; inflation premia; risk premia; term premia; stock market;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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