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Regime-shifts, risk premiums in the term structure, and the business cycle

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  • Ravi Bansal
  • George Tauchen & Hao Zhou

Abstract

We examine various dynamic term structure models for monthly US Treasury yields from 1964 to 2001. Of particular interest is the predictability of bond excess returns. Recent evidence indicates that using multiple forward rates can sharply predict future excess returns on bonds; the R2 of this predictability regression can be as high as 30%. In addition, the projection coefficients in these predictability regressions exhibit a tent shaped pattern that relates to the maturity of the forward rate. This dimension of the data in conjunction with the transition dynamics of bond yields (i.e., conditional volatility and cross-correlation of bond yields) poses an serious challenge to term structure models. In this paper we present and estimate a regime-shifts term structure model, and our findings show that this model can account for all aspects of the predictability regression and the transition dynamics of yields. Alternative models, such as affine factor models, cannot account for these features of the data. We find that the regimes in the model are related to the NBER business-cycle indicator.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2003-21.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-21

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Keywords: Interest rates ; Econometric models;

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  1. Lars Peter Hansen & Ravi Jagannathan, 1994. "Assessing specification errors in stochastic discount factor models," Staff Report 167, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Dong-Hyun Ahn & Robert F. Dittmar, 2002. "Quadratic Term Structure Models: Theory and Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 243-288, March.
  3. Tauchen, George E. & Gallant, A. Ronald, 1995. "Which Moments to Match," Working Papers 95-20, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Bansal, Ravi & Gallant, A. Ronald & Hussey, Robert & Tauchen, George, 1995. "Nonparametric estimation of structural models for high-frequency currency market data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1-2), pages 251-287.
  6. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Scholarly Articles 3221490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  9. Cai, Jun, 1994. "A Markov Model of Switching-Regime ARCH," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 309-16, July.
  10. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
  11. Ronald Gallant, A. & Tauchen, George, 1999. "The relative efficiency of method of moments estimators1," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 149-172, September.
  12. Hamilton, James D., 1988. "Rational-expectations econometric analysis of changes in regime : An investigation of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 385-423.
  13. Gray, Stephen F., 1996. "Modeling the conditional distribution of interest rates as a regime-switching process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-62, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Hansen, Bruce E, 1992. "The Likelihood Ratio Test under Nonstandard Conditions: Testing the Markov Switching Model of GNP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages S61-82, Suppl. De.
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