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A Portfolio-Balance Approach to the Nominal Term Structure

  • King, Thomas B.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

Explanations of why changes in the relative quantities of safe debt seem to affect asset prices often appeal informally to a “portfolio balance” mechanism. I show how this type of effect can be incorporated in a general class of structural, arbitrage-free asset-pricing models using a numerical solution method that allows for a wide range of nonlinearities. I consider some applications in which the Treasury market is isolated, investors have mean-variance preferences, and the short-rate process is truncated at zero. Despite its simplicity, a version of this model incorporating inflation can fit longer-term yields well, and it suggests that fluctuations in Treasury supply explain a sizeable fraction of the historical time-series variation in term premia. Nonetheless, under plausible parameterizations central-bank asset purchases have a fairly small impact on the yield curve by removing duration from the market, and these effects are particularly weak when interest rates are close to their zero lower bound.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-2013-18.

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Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: 20 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2013-18
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  1. V. Vance Roley, 1982. "The Effect of Federal Debt-Management Policy on Corporate Bond and Equity Yields," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 645-668.
  2. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2012. "The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 233 - 267.
  3. Kenneth Kuttner, 2006. "Can Central Banks Target Bond Prices?," NBER Working Papers 12454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Chabot, Benjamin & Herman, Gabe, 2013. "A History of Large-Scale Asset Purchases before the Federal Reserve," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 140-152.
  5. Stefania D’Amico & William English & David López‐Salido & Edward Nelson, 2012. "The Federal Reserve's Large‐scale Asset Purchase Programmes: Rationale and Effects," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F415-F446, November.
  6. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Asset Prices and Asset Quantities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 380-389, 04-05.
  7. Taeyoung Doh, 2010. "The efficacy of large-scale asset purchases at the zero lower bound," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-34.
  8. D’Amico, Stefania & King, Thomas B., 2013. "Flow and stock effects of large-scale treasury purchases: Evidence on the importance of local supply," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 425-448.
  9. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2011. "The Effectiveness of Alternative Monetary Policy Tools in a Zero Lower Bound Environment," NBER Working Papers 16956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Canlin Li & Min Wei, 2012. "Term structure modelling with supply factors and the Federal Reserve's Large Scale Asset Purchase programs," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart & Brian P. Sack, 2004. "Monetary Policy Alternatives at the Zero Bound: An Empirical Assessment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 1-100.
  12. Joseph E. Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian P. Sack, 2011. "Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve: did they work?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 41-59.
  13. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  14. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1980. "The Effect of Shifting Wealth Ownership on the Term Structure of Interest Rates: The Case of Pensions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(3), pages 567-590.
  15. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1985. "Portfolio Crowding-Out, Empirically Estimated," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 1041-1065.
  16. Svensson, Lars E O, 1994. "Estimating and Interpreting Forward Interest Rates: Sweden 1992-4," CEPR Discussion Papers 1051, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Carlo Rosa, 2012. "How "unconventional" are large-scale asset purchases? The impact of monetary policy on asset prices," Staff Reports 560, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  18. Robin Greenwood & Dimitri Vayanos, 2010. "Price pressure in the government bond market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28618, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  19. Jack Meaning & Feng Zhu, 2011. "The impact of recent central bank asset purchase programmes," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
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