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Predictions of short-term rates and the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates

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  • Guidolin, Massimo
  • Thornton, Daniel L.

Abstract

Despite its important role in monetary policy and finance, the expectations hypothesis (EH) of the term structure of interest rates has received virtually no empirical support. The empirical failure of the EH was attributed to a variety of econometric biases associated with the single-equation models used to test it; however, none account for it. This paper analyzes the EH by focusing on its fundamental tenet - the predictability of the short-term rate. This is done by comparing h-month ahead forecasts for the 1- and 3-month Treasury yields implied by the EH with the forecasts from random-walk, Diebold and Lei (2006), and Duffee (2002) models. The evidence suggests that the failure of the EH is likely a consequence of market participants’ inability to predict the short-term rate. JEL Classification: E40, E52

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0977.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080977

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Keywords: expectations theory; random walk; time-varying risk premium;

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  1. Michael Dotsey & Christopher Otrok, 1995. "The rational expectations hypothesis of the term structure, monetary policy, and time-varying term premia," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 65-81.
  2. Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1988. " The Predictive Power of the Term Structure during Recent Monetary Regimes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(2), pages 339-56, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch & S. Boragan Aruoba, 2003. "The macroeconomy and the yield curve: a nonstructural analysis," Working Paper Series 2003-18, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  7. Diebold, Francis X. & Li, Canlin, 2006. "Forecasting the term structure of government bond yields," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 337-364, February.
  8. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
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  13. Thornton, Daniel-L, 2004. "Testing the Expectations Hypothesis: Some New Evidence for Japan," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 22(2), pages 45-69, May.
  14. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 1995. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 253-63, July.
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  16. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick & David A. Marshall, 1997. ""Peso Problem" Explanations for Term Structure Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 6147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Gregory R. Duffee, 2002. "Term Premia and Interest Rate Forecasts in Affine Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 405-443, 02.
  18. Simon, David P, 1990. " Expectations and the Treasury Bill-Federal Funds Rate Spread over Recent Monetary Policy Regimes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 467-77, June.
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  20. William Roberds & Charles H. Whiteman, 1996. "Endogenous term premia and anomalies in the term structure of interest rates: explaining the predictability smile," Working Paper 96-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  21. Hardouvelis, Gikas A., 1994. "The term structure spread and future changes in long and short rates in the G7 countries: Is there a puzzle?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 255-283, April.
  22. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  23. Siegel, Andrew F. & Nelson, Charles R., 1988. "Long-Term Behavior of Yield Curves," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(01), pages 105-110, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Silva Lopes, Artur C. B. da & Monteiro, Olga Susana, 2008. "Short and long run tests of the expectations hypothesis: the Portuguese case," MPRA Paper 12001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Erdemlioglu, Deniz, 2009. "Macro Factors in UK Excess Bond Returns: Principal Components and Factor-Model Approach," MPRA Paper 28895, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Silva Lopes, Artur C. & M. Monteiro, Olga Susana, 2007. "The expectations hypothesis of the term structure: some empirical evidence for Portugal," MPRA Paper 3437, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "How did we get to inflation targeting and where do we need to go to now? a perspective from the U.S. experience," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 65-81.
  5. repec:use:tkiwps:1205 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Peter Aling & Shakill Hassan, 2011. "No-Arbitrage One-Factor Models of the South African Term-Structure of Interest Rates," Working Papers 246, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  7. Daniel L. Thornton, 2009. "How did we get to inflation targeting and where do we go now? a perspective from the U.S. experience," Working Papers 2009-038, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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