Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Essays on unconventional monetary policy and long-term government debt
Author: Tischbirek, Andreas Johannes
ISNI:       0000 0004 5214 396X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis studies the optimal conduct of unconventional monetary policy in the form of purchases of long-term government debt by the central bank and, motivated by this policy tool, the evolution of long-term government debt holdings in household portfolios over the course of the life cycle. It is comprised of three self-contained chapters. The first chapter investigates whether it can be beneficial for central banks to use the unconventional tool even when the main policy rate is not constrained by the zero lower bound. A friction in the interaction between households and banks allows central bank purchases of long-term government debt to reduce long-term interest rates and thus to stimulate economic activity. If debt purchases and conventional short-term interest rate policy are coordinated in an appropriate way, the central bank is able to reduce the volatility of output and inflation. In the second chapter, the role that unconventional monetary policy can play in a currency union is analysed. A model is laid out, in which two countries form a currency union with a common central bank but separate and uncoordinated fiscal policy institutions. When monetary policy is implemented only through the common short-term interest rate, the central bank is unable to respond effectively to country-specific shocks. Due to segmentation in the market for long-term government debt, the yield on long-term debt can differ across countries. As a result, a monetary policy authority that can rely on bond purchases is able to address idiosyncratic shocks reflected in volatility of the natural terms of trade more effectively and to achieve higher welfare than one that cannot make use of this instrument. The final chapter studies the long-term government bond share in household portfolios over the course of the life cycle. US data from the Survey of Consumer Finances suggests that participation in the market for long-term government debt first increases and later decreases as agents approach the retirement age. The portfolio share conditional on participation is non-decreasing over the working life. These stylised facts can be explained by means of a portfolio choice model in which agents are subject to aggregate risk through asset returns as well as idiosyncratic risk through labour income and the stochastic events of retirement and death.
Supervisor: Ellison, Martin Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics ; Macro and international economics ; Monetary Policy ; Quantitative Easing ; Monetary Union ; Portfolio Choice