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

  • Edouard Challe

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, Banque de France - -)

  • François Le Grand

    (EMLYON Business school - EMLYON Business School, ETH Zurich - ETH Zurich)

  • Xavier Ragot

    (Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA))

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 ‡uctuations 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 imply 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.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number hal-00843147.

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Date of creation: 10 Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-00843147
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  1. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Thomas Laubach, 2003. "New evidence on the interest rate effects of budget deficits and debt," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. 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.
  4. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Anthony A. Smith & Per Krusell, 2008. "Asset Prices in a Huggett Economy," 2008 Meeting Papers 181, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Jonathan Heathcote, 2003. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-23, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Stephane Guibaud & Yves NOsbusch & Dimitri Vayanos, 2011. "Bond Market Clienteles, the Yield Curve and the Optimal Maturity Structure of Government Debt," FMG Discussion Papers dp669, Financial Markets Group.
  7. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  8. Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Limited Risk Sharing and Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6136, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2010. "Public versus Private Risk Sharing," CEPR Discussion Papers 7625, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  11. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
  12. Francis A. Longstaff, 2002. "The Flight-to-Liquidity Premium in U.S. Treasury Bond Prices," NBER Working Papers 9312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2000. "Efficiency, Equilibrium, and Asset Pricing with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 775-798, July.
  14. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1986. "The equity premium and the concentration of aggregate shocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-219, September.
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