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Some Lessons from the Yield Curve

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  • John Y. Campbell

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on the relation between short- and long-term interest rates. It summarizes the mixed evidence on the expectation hypothesis of the term structure: when long rates are high relative to short rates, short rates tend to rise as implied by the expectations hypothesis, but long rates tend to fall, which is contrary to the expectations hypothesis. The paper discusses the response of the U.S. bond market to shifts in monetary policy in the spring of 1994 and reviews the debate over the optimal maturity structure of the U.S. government debt.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.9.3.129
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 9 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 129-152

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:9:y:1995:i:3:p:129-52

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.3.129
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  1. Ammer, John & Campbell, John, 1993. "What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," Scholarly Articles 3382857, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Donald B. Keim & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Predicting Returns in the Stock and Bond Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. McCulloch, J Huston, 1971. "Measuring the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 19-31, January.
  4. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 495-514, May.
  5. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Bertola, Giuseppe & Foresi, Silverio, 1997. "A model of target changes and the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-249, July.
  6. Missale, Alessandro & Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1994. "The Debt Burden and Debt Maturity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 309-19, March.
  7. Hicks, J. R., 1975. "Value and Capital: An Inquiry into some Fundamental Principles of Economic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198282693.
  8. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "A Re-examination of Traditional Hypotheses about the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 769-99, September.
  9. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  10. John Y. Campbell, 1986. "A Defense of Traditional Hypotheses About the Term Structure of InterestRates," NBER Working Papers 1508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Melino, Angelo, 1988. " The Term Structure of Interest Rates: Evidence and Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(4), pages 335-66.
  12. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1988. "What Does the Term Structure Tell Us About Future Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 2626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Robert J. Shiller & J. Huston McCulloch, 1987. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 2341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Brown, Roger H. & Schaefer, Stephen M., 1994. "The term structure of real interest rates and the Cox, Ingersoll, and Ross model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 3-42, February.
  15. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1988. "The information in forward rates : Implications for models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 41-70, May.
  16. Estrella, Arturo & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1991. " The Term Structure as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 555-76, June.
  17. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1991. "The Information in the Longer Maturity Term Structure about Future Inflation," NBER Working Papers 3126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  19. Froot, Kenneth A, 1989. " New Hope for the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 283-305, June.
  20. Henning Bohn, . "A Positive Theory of Foreign Currency Debt," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 19-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  21. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  22. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-28, May.
  23. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  24. Kane, Edward J, 1970. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates: An Attempt to Reconcile Teaching with Practice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 361-74, May.
  25. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  26. Keith D. Sill, 1994. "Managing the public debt," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jul, pages 3-13.
  27. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 173-224.
  28. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  29. Franco Modigliani & Richard Sutch, 1967. "Debt Management and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: An Empirical Analysis of Recent Experience," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 569.
  30. Shiller, Robert J. & Huston McCulloch, J., 1990. "The term structure of interest rates," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 627-722 Elsevier.
  31. McCulloch, J Huston, 1975. "The Tax-Adjusted Yield Curve," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 811-30, June.
  32. Fama, Eugene F., 1990. "Term-structure forecasts of interest rates, inflation and real returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-76, January.
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