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The Information Content of the Term Structure: Evidence for Germany

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  • Gerlach, Stefan

Abstract

This paper studies the usefulness of spreads between interest rates of different maturities as indicators of future inflation and real interest rates in Germany, using monthly data from the first quarter of 1967. The central results are two-fold. First, the interest rate spreads considered contain considerable information about future changes in inflation, but no information about the time path of real interest rates. Second, the medium-term segment of the yield curve (spreads between six- and two-year rates, for instance) appears to be the most informative for future inflation. These results are similar to those obtained by Mishkin (1990b) and Jorion and Mishkin (1991).

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1264.

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Date of creation: Nov 1995
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1264

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Keywords: Inflation Expectations; Information Content; Term Structure;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1983. "Excess Volatility in the Financial Markets: A Reassessment of the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 929-56, December.
  3. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 667, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Söderlind, Paul, 1997. "Forward Interest Rates as Indicators of Inflation Expectations," Seminar Papers 594, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Philippe Jorion & Frederic Mishkin, 1991. "A Multi-Country Comparison of Term Structure Forecasts at Long Horizons," NBER Working Papers 3574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1990. "What does the term structure tell us about future inflation?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 77-95, January.
  8. Michael Woodford, 1994. "Nonstandard Indicators for Monetary Policy: Can Their Usefulness Be Judged from Forecasting Regressions?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 95-115 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Shiller, Robert J., 1981. "Alternative tests of rational expectations models : The case of the term structure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 71-87, May.
  10. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  11. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
  12. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 61-110.
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