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Long-Run Inflation Risk and the Postwar Term Premium

  • Eric Swanson

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Glenn Rudebusch

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

Long-term bond yields in the U.S. steadily rose during the 1960s and 1970s and then retreated over the next two decades. This rise and fall is difficult to explain using only changes in long-term inflation expectations and real interest rates; instead, an additional role for changes in the term premium--the risk premium on long-term bonds--appears to be required. We explain the behavior of long-term bond yields with a New Keynesian DSGE model with nominal rigidities, Epstein-Zin-Weil preferences, and long-run inflation risk. We show that this model--unlike many others--is able to generate an empirically plausible level of the term premium without compromising the model's ability to fit key macroeconomic variables. Moreover, by taking into account changes in the Federal Reserve's perceived commitment to a low long-term U.S. inflation rate, the model's predictions for inflation expectations and the term premium are able to explain the behavior of U.S. long-term bond yields in the postwar period.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 988.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:988
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  1. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John C. Williams & Noah Williams, 2005. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Working Papers 11523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Blanchard, Olivier J & Galí, Jordi, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  4. Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Examining the bond premium puzzle with a DSGE model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages S111-S126, October.
  5. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  6. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  8. Michael F. Gallmeyer & Burton Hollifield, 2005. "Taylor Rules, McCallum Rules and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," 2005 Meeting Papers 676, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Scholarly Articles 3221490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Eric Swanson & Gary Anderson & Andrew Levin, 2006. "Higher-order perturbation solutions to dynamic, discrete-time rational expectations models," Working Paper Series 2006-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
  13. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
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