Current Unpublished Working Papers
Monetary Policy Expectations at the Zero Lower Bound
2013-18 | With Rudebusch | February 2014
To obtain monetary policy expectations from the yield curve near the zero lower bound (ZLB), it is crucial to account for the distributional asymmetry of future short rates. Because conventional dynamic term structure models (DTSMs) ignore it, they severely violated the ZLB in recent years and performed significantly worse than alternative models that account for it. Shadow-rate models incorporate the ZLB, and therefore achieve superior fit and forecasting performance. In addition, they provide estimates of the modal short-rate path, which can serve to construct accurate and plausible forecasts of the time of future short-rate liftoff.
Bayesian Estimation of Dynamic Term Structure Models under Restrictions on Risk Pricing
2011-03 | November 2011
This paper performs Bayesian estimation of affine Gaussian dynamic term structure models (DTSMs) in which the risk price parameters are restricted. A new econometric framework for DTSM estimation allows the researcher to select plausible constraints from a large set of restrictions, to correctly quantify statistical uncertainty, and to incorporate model uncertainty. The main empirical result is that under the restrictions favored by the data the expectations component, and not the term premium, accounts for the majority of high-frequency movements of long-term interest rates. At lower frequencies, term premia are counter-cyclical and more stable than implied by DTSMs without risk price restrictions.
Published Articles (Refereed Journals and Volumes)
Nominal Interest Rates and the News
Forthcoming in Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking
This paper provides new estimates of the impact of monetary policy actions and macroeconomic news on the term structure of nominal interest rates. The key novelty is to parsimoniously capture the impact of news on all interest rates using a simple no-arbitrage model. The different types of news are analyzed in a common framework by recognizing their heterogeneity, which allows for a systematic comparison of their effects. This approach leads to novel empirical findings: First, monetary policy causes a substantial amount of volatility in both short-term and long-term interest rates. Second, macroeconomic data surprises have small and mostly insignificant effects on the long end of the term structure. Third, the term-structure response to macroeconomic news is consistent with considerable interest-rate smoothing by the Federal Reserve. Fourth, monetary policy surprises are multidimensional while macroeconomic surprises are one-dimensional.
International Channels of the Fed’s Unconventional Monetary Policy
Forthcoming in Journal of International Money and Finance | With Neely
Previous research has established that the Federal Reserve’s large scale asset purchases (LSAPs) significantly influenced international bond yields. We use dynamic term structure models to uncover to what extent signaling and portfolio balance channels caused these declines. For the U.S. and Canada, the evidence supports the view that LSAPs had substantial signaling effects. For Australian and German yields, signaling effects were present but likely more moderate, and portfolio balance effects appear to have played a relatively larger role than in the U.S. and Canada. Portfolio balance effects were small for Japanese yields and signaling effects basically nonexistent. These findings about LSAP channels are consistent with predictions based on interest rate dynamics during normal times: Signaling effects tend to be large for countries with strong yield responses to conventional U.S. monetary policy surprises, and portfolio balance effects are consistent with the degree of substitutability across international bonds, as measured by the covariance between foreign and U.S. bond returns.
The Signaling Channel for Federal Reserve Bond Purchases
Forthcoming in International Journal of Central Banking | With Rudebusch
Term Premia and Inflation Uncertainty: Empirical Evidence from an International Panel Dataset: Comment
American Economic Review 104(1), January 2014, 323-337 | With Rudebusch and Wu
Term premia implied by maximum likelihood estimates of affine term structure models are misleading because of small-sample bias. We show that accounting for this bias alters the conclusions about the trend, cycle, and macroeconomic determinants of the term premia estimated in Wright (2011). His term premium estimates are essentially acyclical, and often just parallel the secular trend in long-term interest rates. In contrast, bias-corrected term premia show pronounced countercyclical behavior, consistent with theoretical and empirical arguments about movements in risk premia.
Correcting Estimation Bias in Dynamic Term Structure Models
Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 30(3), July 2012, 454-467 | With Rudebusch and Wu
The affine dynamic term structure model (DTSM) is the canonical empirical finance representation of the yield curve. However, the possibility that DTSM estimates may be distorted by small-sample bias has been largely ignored. We show that conventional estimates of DTSM coefficients are indeed severely biased, and this bias results in misleading estimates of expected future short-term interest rates and of long-maturity term premia. We provide a variety of bias-corrected estimates of affine DTSMs, both for maximally-flexible and over-identified specifications. Our estimates imply short rate expectations and term premia that are more plausible from a macro-finance perspective.
Testing for Endogenous Growth
In Master’s Thesis | Germany: VDM Publishing, 2004
Models of endogenous growth have strong empirical predictions about the determinants of technological progress. This thesis details the implications of alternative R&D-based endogenous growth models, and then surveys the empirical literature that tests different aspects of this New Growth Theory. Numerous studies attempt to test the validity of endogenous growth models but come to very different conclusions, since varying hypotheses are considered. There are few rigorous and plausible empirical assessments of whether the determinants of technological progress conform to the predictions of the theory. I provide new evidence on the relevance of R&D intensity for economic growth, using dynamic panel data methods, thereby contributing to the empirical literature that finds support for R&D-based endogenous growth models.