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Equilibrium Yield Curve, the Phillips Curve, and Monetary Policy

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Upward sloping yield curves are hard to reconcile with the positive association between income and inflation (the Phillips curve) in consumption-based asset pricing models. Using US and UK data, this paper shows inflation is negatively correlated with long-run income growth but positively correlated with cyclical income, thus enabling the model to replicate positive and sizable term premiums, along with the Phillips curve over business cycles. Quantitative analyses also emphasize the importance of monetary policy, predicting that a permanently low growth and low inflation environment would precipitate flatter yield curves due to constraints to monetary policy around the zero lower bound.

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