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Monetary Policy Uncertainty and the Response of the Yield Curve to Policy Shocks

Peter Tillmann

Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 2020, vol. 52, issue 4, 803-833

Abstract: This paper studies the nonlinear response of the term structure of interest rates to monetary policy shocks and presents a new stylized fact. We show that uncertainty about monetary policy changes the way the term structure responds to monetary policy. A policy tightening leads to a significantly smaller increase in long‐term bond yields if policy uncertainty is high at the time of the shock. We also look at the decomposition of bond yields into expectations about future policy and the term premium. The weaker response of yields is driven by the fall in term premia, which fall more strongly if uncertainty about policy is high. Conditional on a monetary policy shock, higher uncertainty about monetary policy tends to make securities with longer maturities relatively more attractive to investors. As a consequence, investors demand even lower term premia. These findings are robust to the measurement of monetary policy uncertainty, the definition of the monetary policy shock, and to changing the model specification.

Date: 2020
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https://doi.org/10.1111/jmcb.12657

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Working Paper: Monetary Policy Uncertainty and the Response of the Yield Curve to Policy Shocks (2017) Downloads
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