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A macro-finance approach to the term structure of interest rates

Ferman, Marcelo (2011) A macro-finance approach to the term structure of interest rates. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis contributes to the literature that analyses the term structure of interest rates from a macroeconomic perspective. Chapter 1 studies the transmission of monetary policy shocks to the US macroeconomy and term structure. Based on estimates of a Macro-Affine model, it shows that monetary policy shocks trigger relevant movements in bond premia, which in turn feed back into the macroeconomy. This channel of monetary transmission shows up importantly in the pre-Volcker period, but becomes irrelevant later. This chapter concludes with an analysis of the macroeconomic implications of shocks to expectations about future monetary policy actions. Chapter 2 proposes a regime-switching approach to explain why the U.S. nominal yield curve on average has been steeper since the mid-1980s than during the Great Inflation of the 1970s. It shows that, once the possibility of regime switches in the short-rate process is incorporated into investors' beliefs, the average slope of the yield curve generally will contain a new component called 'level risk'. Level risk estimates were found to be large and negative during the Great Inflation, but became moderate and positive afterwards. These findings are replicated in a Markov-Switching DSGE model, where the monetary policy rule shifts between an active and a passive regime with respect to inflation fluctuations. Chapter 3 develops a DSGE model in which banks use short-term deposits to provide firms with long-term credit. The demand for long-term credit arises because firms borrow in order to finance their capital stock which they only adjust at infrequent intervals. The model shows that maturity transformation in the banking sector in general attenuates the output response to a technological shock. Implications of long-term nominal contracts are also examined in a New Keynesian version of the model. In this case, maturity transformation reduces the real effects of a monetary policy shock.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Marcelo Ferman
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Sets: Departments > Economics
Supervisor: Benigno, Gianluca

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