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The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Long-term Interest Rates

Author

Listed:
  • Annette Vissing-Jorgensen

    (Kellogg School of Management, Northweste)

  • Arvind Krishnamurthy

    (Northwestern University)

Abstract

We evaluate the effect of the Federal Reserve’s purchase of long-term Treasuries and other long-term bonds ("QE1" in 2008-2009 and "QE2" in 2010-2011) on interest rates. Using an event-study methodology that exploits both daily and intra-day data, we find a large and significant drop in nominal interest rates on long-term safe assets (Treasuries, Agency bonds, and highly-rated corporate bonds). This occurs mainly because there is a unique clientele for long-term safe nominal assets, and the Fed purchases reduce the supply of such assets and hence increase the equilibrium safety-premium. We find only small effects on nominal (default-adjusted) interest rates on less safe assets such as Baa corporate rates. The impact of quantitative easing on MBS rates is large when QE involves MBS purchases, but not when it involves Treasury purchases, indicating that a second main channel for QE is to affect the equilibrium price of mortgage-specific risk. Evidence from inflation swap rates and TIPS show that expected inflation increased due to both QE1 and QE2, implying that reductions in real rates were larger than reductions in nominal rates. Our analysis implies that (a) it is inappropriate to focus only on Treasury rates as a policy target because QE works through several channels that affect particular assets differently, and (b) effects on particular assets depend critically on which assets are purchased.

Suggested Citation

  • Annette Vissing-Jorgensen & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Long-term Interest Rates," 2011 Meeting Papers 1447, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1447
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Luc Vila & Dimitri Vayanos, 2009. "A Preferred-Habitat Model of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," FMG Discussion Papers dp641, Financial Markets Group.
    2. Matthias Fleckenstein & Francis A. Longstaff & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "Why Does the Treasury Issue Tips? The Tips-Treasury Bond Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 16358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andreas Fuster & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "$1.25 Trillion is still real money : some facts about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage market investments," Public Policy Discussion Paper 10-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    4. Xavier Gabaix & Arvind Krishnamurthy & Olivier Vigneron, 2007. "Limits of Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 557-595, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. William B English & J David López-Salido & Robert J Tetlow, 2015. "The Federal Reserve’s Framework for Monetary Policy: Recent Changes and New Questions," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 63(1), pages 22-70, May.
    2. Ramey, V.A., 2016. "Macroeconomic Shocks and Their Propagation," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    3. Serkan Arslanalp & Tigran Poghosyan, 2016. "Foreign Investor Flows and Sovereign Bond Yields in Advanced Economies," Journal of Banking and Financial Economics, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 2(6), pages 45-67, June.
    4. Abrahams, Michael & Adrian, Tobias & Crump, Richard K. & Moench, Emanuel & Yu, Rui, 2016. "Decomposing real and nominal yield curves," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 182-200.
    5. Chen, Qianying & Filardo, Andrew & He, Dong & Zhu, Feng, 2016. "Financial crisis, US unconventional monetary policy and international spillovers," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 62-81.
    6. Tamim Bayoumi & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Karl F Habermeier & Tommaso Mancini Griffoli & Fabian Valencia, 2014. "Monetary Policy in the New Normal," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 14/3, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Bernile, Gennaro & Hu, Jianfeng & Tang, Yuehua, 2016. "Can information be locked up? Informed trading ahead of macro-news announcements," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 496-520.
    8. Davide Debortoli & Jordi Galí & Luca Gambetti, 2018. "On the empirical (ir)relevance of the zero lower bound constraint," Economics Working Papers 1594, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    9. Davide Debortoli & Jordi Galí & Luca Gambetti, 2018. "On the Empirical (Ir)Relevance of the Zero Lower Bound Constraint," Working Papers 1013, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    10. Qianying Chen & Marco Lombardi & Alex Ross & Feng Zhu, 2017. "Global impact of US and euro area unconventional monetary policies: a comparison," BIS Working Papers 610, Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Hanson, Samuel G., 2014. "Mortgage convexity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 270-299.
    12. Jonathan H. Wright, 2011. "What does Monetary Policy do to Long-Term Interest Rates at the Zero Lower Bound?," NBER Working Papers 17154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Engen, Eric M. & Laubach, Thomas & Reifschneider, David L., 2015. "The Macroeconomic Effects of the Federal Reserve's Unconventional Monetary Policies," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. repec:sbe:breart:v:36:y:2016:i:2:a:46421 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Mahmoudi, Babak, 2013. "Liquidity Effects of Central Banks' Asset Purchase Programs," MPRA Paper 49424, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. P. Andrade & C. Cahn & H. Fraisse & J-S. Mésonnier, 2015. "Can the Provision of Long-Term Liquidity Help to Avoid a Credit Crunch? Evidence from the Eurosystem's LTROs," Working papers 540, Banque de France.

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