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Short Rates and Expected Asset Returns

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  • Kenneth A. Froot

Abstract

We present evidence that short-term interest rates forecast excess returns on many alternative assets: foreign exchange, stocks, bonds, and commodities. On average, a one percentage-point increase in short rates is associated with three percent lower annualized excess returns. To test whether this predictability is attributable to time-varying risk, independent measures of excess returns are formed using survey data on expected returns. We find similar predictability in these measures, too. Since the surveys don't include risk premia, the predictable components cannot be attributed to risk. We suggest that when short rates are high (low) investors are excessively optimistic (pessimistic) about alternative-asset returns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3247.

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Date of creation: Jan 1990
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3247

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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Froot, Kenneth A, 1987. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 133-53, March.
  2. Bilson, John F O, 1981. "The "Speculative Efficiency" Hypothesis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 435-51, July.
  3. French, Kenneth R, 1986. "Detecting Spot Price Forecasts in Futures Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages S39-54, April.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "Do Long-Term Interest Rates Overreact to Short-Term Interest Rates?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(1), pages 223-248.
  5. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  6. Campbell, John & Shiller, Robert, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Scholarly Articles 3122490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1988. "Mean reversion in stock prices : Evidence and Implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-59, October.
  8. Baillie, Richard T & Bollerslev, Tim, 1989. " Common Stochastic Trends in a System of Exchange Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 167-81, March.
  9. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 173-224.
  10. Ferson, Wayne E, 1989. " Changes in Expected Security Returns, Risk, and the Level of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1191-1217, December.
  11. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
  12. Robert P. Flood & Robert J. Hodrick & Paul Kaplan, 1986. "An Evaluation of Recent Evidence on Stock Market Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 1971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1985. "Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Giovannini, Alberto & Jorion, Philippe, 1987. "Interest rates and risk premia in the stock market and in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 107-123, March.
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