The Term Structure of Interest Rates and the Effects of Macroeconomic Policy
This paper analyzes the effects of monetary and fiscal policy shocks on the term structure of interest rates. The effects of temporary versus permanent, unanticipated versus anticipated, policy disturbances and the responses of long versus short, and real versus nominal, rates are contrasted. The main results are summarized in a series of propositions. Among them, the finding that an unanticipated permanent fiscal expansion impacts more on long-term rates, may help explain their observed excessive volatility. The effects of structural changes on the relative variances are also discussed, with the effect which operates through the impact on private speculative behavior being emphasized.