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Government Bonds and their Investors; What Are the Facts and Do they Matter?

  • Jochen R. Andritzky

This paper introduces a new dataset on the composition of the investor base for government securities in the G20 advanced economies and the euro area. During the last decades, investors from abroad have increased their presence in government bond markets. The financial crisis broke this trend. Domestic financial institutions allocated a larger share of government securities in their portfolios, as Japan has done since its crisis in the 1990s. Increases in the share held by institutional investors or non-residents by 10 percentage points are associated with a reduction in yields by about 25 or 40 basis points, respectively. The data show a varied lead-lag relationship between bond yields and investor holdings. Portfolio balance estimates suggest that a change in statutory or regulatory holdings of government securities to the tune of 10 percent of the outstanding stock causes expected returns to decline by 7 to 25 basis points.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/158.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/158
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  1. Carmen M. & M. Belen Sbrancia, 2011. "The Liquidation of Government Debt," Working Paper Series WP11-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Beltran, Daniel O. & Kretchmer, Maxwell & Marquez, Jaime & Thomas, Charles P., 2013. "Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasuries and U.S. Treasury yields," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1120-1143.
  3. Joseph Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian Sack, 2010. "Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve: did they work?," Staff Reports 441, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Paolo Mauro & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2006. "Do Some Forms of Financial Flows Help Protect From Sudden Stops?," IMF Working Papers 06/202, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Papaioannou, Elias & Portes, Richard & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2006. "Optimal currency shares in international reserves: The impact of the euro and the prospects for the dollar," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 508-547, December.
  6. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2007. "The Demand for Treasury Debt," NBER Working Papers 12881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kiichi Tokuoka, 2010. "The Outlook for Financing Japan's Public Debt," IMF Working Papers 10/19, International Monetary Fund.
  8. John D. Burger & Francis E. Warnock, 2006. "Local Currency Bond Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(si), pages 7.
  9. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  10. Francis E. Warnock & Veronica Cacdac Warnock, 2006. "International Capital Flows and U.S. Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 12560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christopher J. Neely, 2010. "The large scale asset purchases had large international effects," Working Papers 2010-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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