Indicator Properties Of The Paper-Bill Spread: Lessons From Recent Experience
Benjamin M. Friedman and
Kenneth Kuttner ()
The Review of Economics and Statistics, 1998, vol. 80, issue 1, 34-44
A feature of U.S. postwar business cycle experience that is by now widely documented is the tendency of the spread between the respective interest rates on commercial paper and Treasury bills to widen shortly before the onset of recessions. By contrast, the paper-bill spread did not anticipate the 1990-1991 recession. Empirical work presented in this paper supports two (not mutually exclusive) explanations for this departure from past experience. First, at least part of the paper-bill spread's predictive content with respect to business cycle fluctuations stems from its role as an indicator of monetary policy, but the 1990-1991 recession was unusual in postwar U.S. experience in not being immediately precipitated by tight monetary policy. Second, movements of the spread during the few years just prior to the 1990-1991 recession were strongly influenced by changes in the relative quantities of commercial paper, bank CDs, and Treasury bills that occurred for reasons unrelated to the business cycle. This latter finding in particular sheds light on the important role of imperfect substitutability of different short-term debt instruments in investors' portfolios, and highlights the burdens associated with using relative interest rate relationships as business cycle indicators. © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (85) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
Working Paper: Indicator properties of the paper-bill spread: lessons from recent experience (1994)
Working Paper: Indicator Properties of the Paper-Bill Spread: Lessons from Recent Experiences (1994)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tpr:restat:v:80:y:1998:i:1:p:34-44
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
https://mitpressjour ... rnal/?issn=0034-6535
Access Statistics for this article
The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Pierre Azoulay, Olivier Coibion, Will Dobbie, Raymond Fisman, Benjamin R. Handel, Brian A. Jacob, Kareen Rozen, Xiaoxia Shi, Tavneet Suri and Yi Xu
More articles in The Review of Economics and Statistics from MIT Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Kelly McDougall ().