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Can Central Banks Target Bond Prices?

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  • Kenneth Kuttner

Abstract

This paper addresses the possible role of bond prices as operating or intermediate targets for monetary policy. The paper begins with a brief review of the mechanisms through which a central bank could, in theory, influence long-term interest rates, and continues with a brief narrative overview of debt management policies in the U.S., tracing their effects on the maturity distribution of outstanding publicly-held Treasury debt and the composition of the assets held by the Federal Reserve System. The empirical section presents new econometric evidence on the effects of these policies on expected excess holding returns ("term premia"), demonstrating that changes in the Fed's holdings of long-term securities have had statistically significant and economically meaningful effects on the term premia associated with Treasury securities with maturities in the two- to five-year range.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth Kuttner, 2006. "Can Central Banks Target Bond Prices?," NBER Working Papers 12454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12454
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael E. Cahill & Stefania D’Amico & Canlin Li & John S. Sears, 2013. "Duration risk versus local supply channel in Treasury yields: evidence from the Federal Reserve's asset purchase announcements," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Jagjit S Chadha & Philip Turner & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2013. "The interest rate effects of government debt maturity," BIS Working Papers 415, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. repec:wsi:qjfxxx:v:04:y:2014:i:01:n:s2010139214500013 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jagjit S. Chadha & Philip Turner & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2013. "The ties that bind: monetary policy and government debt management," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 548-581, AUTUMN.
    5. King, Thomas B., 2013. "A Portfolio-Balance Approach to the Nominal Term Structure," Working Paper Series WP-2013-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Alternative Monetary Policy Tools in a Zero Lower Bound Environment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 3-46, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 331-367, June.
    9. William R. Cline & Kyoji Fukao & Tokuo Iwaisako & Kenneth N. Kuttner & Adam S. Posen & Jeffrey J. Schott, 2014. "Lessons from Decades Lost: Economic Challenges and Opportunities Facing Japan and the United States," PIIE Briefings PIIEB14-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    10. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Walker Ray, 2017. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing: Taking a Cue from Treasury Auctions," NBER Working Papers 24122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Pikkarainen, Pentti, 2010. "Central bank liquidity during the financial market and economic crisis : observations, thoughts and questions," Research Discussion Papers 20/2010, Bank of Finland.
    12. 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.
    13. Harrison, Richard, 2012. "Asset purchase policy at the effective lower bound for interest rates," Bank of England working papers 444, Bank of England.
    14. Andre Meier, 2009. "Panacea, Curse, or Nonevent? Unconventional Monetary Policy in the United Kingdom," IMF Working Papers 09/163, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Stefania D'Amico & Thomas B. King, 2012. "Flow and stock effects of large-scale asset purchases: evidence on the importance of local supply," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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