We investigate how the entire term structure of interest rates is influenced by changes in monetary policy regimes. To do so, we develop and estimate an arbitrage-free dynamic term-structure model which accounts for regime shifts in monetary policy and price of risk. Our results for US data from 1985 through 2008 indicate that (i) the Federal Reserve's reaction to inflation has changed over time, switching between "active" and "passive" monetary policy regimes; (ii) on average, the term spread in the "active" regime was wider than in the "passive" regime; and (iii) the yields in the "active" regime were considerably more volatile than in the "passive" regime. The wider term spread in the "active" regime reflects higher term premia associated with a more sensitive response of the short-term interest rate to inflation. Additionally, our analysis suggests that the model fit improves substantially when we account for regime switching in monetary policy and price of risk.
- Markov switching process
- affine no-arbitrage model
- term structure of interest rates
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics