Working Paper | HBS Working Paper Series | 2015

Monetary Policy Drivers of Bond and Equity Risks

by John Y. Campbell, Carolin E. Pflueger and Luis M. Viceira


How do monetary policy rules, monetary policy uncertainty, and macroeconomic shocks affect the risk properties of US Treasury bonds? The exposure of US Treasury bonds to the stock market has moved considerably over time. While it was slightly positive on average over the period 1960-2011, it was unusually high in the 1980s, and negative in the 2000s, a period during which Treasury bonds enabled investors to hedge macroeconomic risks. This paper develops a New Keynesian macroeconomic model with habit formation preferences that prices both bonds and stocks. The model attributes the increase in bond risks in the 1980s to a shift towards strongly anti-inflationary monetary policy, while the decrease in bond risks after 2000 is attributed to a renewed focus on output fluctuations, and a shift from transitory to persistent monetary policy shocks. Endogenous responses of bond risk premia amplify these effects of monetary policy on bond risks.

Keywords: Risk and Uncertainty; Bonds; Central Banking; System Shocks; Policy; Macroeconomics;


Campbell, John Y., Carolin E. Pflueger, and Luis M. Viceira. "Monetary Policy Drivers of Bond and Equity Risks." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-031, September 2013. (Revised June 2015.)

Supplemental Information

  1. Appendix