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Ambiguity Aversion and the Term Structure of Interest Rates

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Author Info

  • Laurent BARRAS

    (Imperial College, Tanaka Business School and Swiss Finance Institute)

  • Patrick Gagliardini

    (University of Lugano and Swiss Finance Institute)

  • Paolo Porchia

    (University of St. Gallen)

  • Fabio Trojani

    (University of St. Gallen)

Abstract

This paper studies the termstructure implications of a simple structuralmodel inwhich 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 non zero also 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 tradeoff between fitting the first and second moments of the yield curve.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Swiss Finance Institute in its series Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series with number 08-18.

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Length: 43 pages
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Handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp0819

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Web page: http://www.SwissFinanceInstitute.ch
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Related research

Keywords: General Equilibrium; Term Structure of Interest Rates; Ambiguity Aversion; Expectations; Hypothesis; Campbell-Shiller Regression;

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References

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  1. H. Henry Cao & Tan Wang & Harold H. Zhang, 2005. "Model Uncertainty, Limited Market Participation, and Asset Prices," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 1219-1251.
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  3. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Scholarly Articles 3221490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  5. Fabio Trojani & Paolo Vanini, 2004. "Robustness and Ambiguity Aversion in General Equilibrium," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 279-324.
  6. Zengjing Chen & Larry Epstein, 2002. "Ambiguity, Risk, and Asset Returns in Continuous Time," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1403-1443, July.
  7. 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.
  8. Philip H. Dybvig & Chi-fu Huang, 1988. "Nonnegative Wealth, Absence of Arbitrage, and Feasible Consumption Plans," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 860, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. 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.
  10. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Model of Asset Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 363-84, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  13. 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.
  14. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2001. "Recursive Multiple-Priors," RCER Working Papers 485, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  15. Evan W. Anderson & Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 2003. "A Quartet of Semigroups for Model Specification, Robustness, Prices of Risk, and Model Detection," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 68-123, 03.
  16. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  17. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Boyarchenko, Nina, 2012. "Ambiguity shifts and the 2007–2008 financial crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 493-507.
  4. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2010. "Ambiguity and Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 16181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2011. "Ambiguity in Asset Pricing and Portfolio Choice: A Review of the Literature," Working Papers 417, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Yehuda Izhakian, 2012. "Capital Asset Pricing Under Ambiguity," Working Papers 12-02, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.

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