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Incomplete markets, liquidation risk, and the term structure of interest rates

Author

Listed:
  • Edouard Challe

    (X-DEP-ECO - Département d'Économie de l'École Polytechnique - X - École polytechnique, Banque de france - Banque de France)

  • François Le Grand

    (ETH Zürich - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology [Zürich], EM - emlyon business school)

  • Xavier Ragot

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We analyse the term structure of interest rates in a general equilibrium model with incomplete markets, borrowing constraint, and positive net supply of government bonds. Uninsured idiosyncratic shocks generate bond trades, while aggregate shocks cause fluctuations in the trading price of bonds. Long bonds command a "liquidation risk premium" over short bonds, because they may have to be liquidated before maturity - following a bad idiosyncratic shock - precisely when their resale value is low - due to the simultaneous occurrence of a bad aggregate shock. Our framework endogenously generates limited cross-sectional wealth heterogeneity among the agents (despite the presence of uninsured idiosyncratic shocks), which allows us to characterise analytically the shape of the entire yield curve, including the yields on bonds of arbitrarily long maturities. Agents' desire to hedge the idiosyncratic risk together with their fear of having to liquidate long bonds at unfavourable terms implies that a greater bond supply raises the level of the yield curve, while an increase in the relative supply of long bonds raises its slope.

Suggested Citation

  • Edouard Challe & François Le Grand & Xavier Ragot, 2013. "Incomplete markets, liquidation risk, and the term structure of interest rates," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-00944920, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-00944920
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2013.10.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incomplete markets; Borrowing constraint; Yield curve;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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