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Ambiguity Aversion and the Term Structure of Interest Rates

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  • Patrick Gagliardini
  • Paolo Porchia
  • Fabio Trojani

Abstract

This paper studies the term structure implications of a simple structural model in which the representative agent displays ambiguity aversion, modeled by Multiple Priors Recursive Utility. Bond excess returns reflect a premium for ambiguity, which is observationally distinct from the risk premium of affine yield curve models. The ambiguity premium can be large even in the simplest log-utility setting and is also nonzero for stochastic factors that have a zero risk premium. A calibrated low-dimensional two-factor model with ambiguity is able to reproduce the deviations from the expectations hypothesis documented in the literature, without modifying in a substantial way the nonlinear mean-reversion dynamics of the short interest rate. Moreover, the model does not imply any apparent trade-off between fitting the first and second moments of the yield curve. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 4157-4188

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:10:p:4157-4188

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References

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  1. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  2. Trojani, Fabio & Vanini, Paolo, 2002. "A note on robustness in Merton's model of intertemporal consumption and portfolio choice," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 423-435, March.
  3. Epstein, Larry G. & Miao, Jianjun, 2003. "A two-person dynamic equilibrium under ambiguity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1253-1288, May.
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  7. Zengjing Chen & Larry G. Epstein, 2000. "Ambiguity, risk and asset returns in continuous time," RCER Working Papers 474, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  13. Fabio Trojani & Paolo Vanini, 2004. "Robustness and Ambiguity Aversion in General Equilibrium," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 279-324.
  14. Fama, Eugene F & Bliss, Robert R, 1987. "The Information in Long-Maturity Forward Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 680-92, September.
  15. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1992. " Interest Rate Volatility and the Term Structure: A Two-Factor General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1259-82, September.
  16. Jun Liu, 2005. "An Equilibrium Model of Rare-Event Premia and Its Implication for Option Smirks," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 131-164.
  17. Wachter, Jessica A., 2006. "A consumption-based model of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 365-399, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Schneider, 2010. "The Research Agenda: Martin Schneider on Multiple Priors Preferences and Financial Markets," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), April.
  2. Zhu, Xiaoneng, 2011. "Revisiting the expectations hypothesis: The Japanese term structure and regime shifts," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 237-249, May.
  3. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2010. "Ambiguity in asset pricing and portfolio choice: a review of the literature," Working Papers 2010-028, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Yehuda Izhakian, 2012. "Capital Asset Pricing Under Ambiguity," Working Papers 12-02, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2010. "Ambiguity and Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 16181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ulrich, Maxim, 2013. "Inflation ambiguity and the term structure of U.S. Government bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 295-309.
  7. Boyarchenko, Nina, 2012. "Ambiguity shifts and the 2007–2008 financial crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 493-507.
  8. Liu, Hening, 2011. "Dynamic portfolio choice under ambiguity and regime switching mean returns," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 623-640, April.

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