Kellogg School of Management
2211 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60610
Institutional Affiliation: Northwestern University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2019||The U.S. Public Debt Valuation Puzzle|
with Hanno Lustig, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, Mindy Z. Xiaolan: w26583
The market value of outstanding federal government debt in the U.S. exceeds the expected present discounted value of current and future primary surpluses by a multiple of U.S. GDP. When the pricing kernel fits U.S. equity and Treasury prices and the government surpluses are consistent with U.S. post-war data, a government debt valuation puzzle emerges. Since tax revenues are pro-cyclical while government spending is counter-cyclical, the tax revenue claim has a higher short-run discount rate and a lower value than the spending claim. Since revenue and spending are co-integrated with GDP, the long-run risk discount rates of both claims are much higher than the long Treasury yield. These forces imply a negative present value of U.S. government surpluses. Convenience yields for Treasuries mus...
|March 2018||Foreign Safe Asset Demand and the Dollar Exchange Rate|
with Arvind Krishnamurthy, Hanno Lustig: w24439
We develop a theory that links the U.S. dollar's valuation in FX markets to foreign investors' demand for U.S. safe assets. When the convenience yield that foreign investors derive from holding U.S. safe assets increases, the U.S. dollar immediately appreciates, thus lowering the foreign investors' expected future return from owning U.S. safe assets. The foreign investors' convenience yield can be inferred from the wedge between the yield on safe U.S. Treasury bonds and currency-hedged foreign government bonds, which we call the U.S. Treasury basis. Consistent with the theory, we find that a widening of the U.S. Treasury basis coincides with an immediate appreciation and a subsequent depreciation of the U.S. dollar. Shocks to news about current and future convenience yields accounts for 54...