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Some Lessons from the Yield Curve

  • John Y. Campbell

This paper reviews the literature on the relation between short- and long-term interest rates. It summarizes the mixed evidence on the expectation hypothesis of the term structure: when long rates are high relative to short rates, short rates tend to rise as implied by the expectations hypothesis, but long rates tend to fall, which is contrary to the expectations hypothesis. The paper discusses the response of the U.S. bond market to shifts in monetary policy in the spring of 1994 and reviews the debate over the optimal maturity structure of the U.S. government debt.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.9.3.129
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 9 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 129-152

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:9:y:1995:i:3:p:129-52
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.3.129
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  1. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Donald B. Keim & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Predicting Returns in the Stock and Bond Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  4. Kane, Edward J, 1970. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates: An Attempt to Reconcile Teaching with Practice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 361-74, May.
  5. 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.
  6. McCulloch, J Huston, 1971. "Measuring the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 19-31, January.
  7. Pierluigi Balduzzi & Giuseppe Bertola & Silverio Foresi, 1993. "A Model of Target Changes and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 4347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Keith D. Sill, 1994. "Managing the public debt," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jul, pages 3-13.
  9. 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.
  10. Missale, Alessandro & Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1994. "The Debt Burden and Debt Maturity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 309-19, March.
  11. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1990. "The Information in the Longer Maturity Term Structure about Future Inflation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 815-28, August.
  12. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "A Re-examination of Traditional Hypotheses about the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 769-99, September.
  13. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-28, May.
  15. Mishkin, F.S., 1988. "What Does The Term Structure Tell Us About Future Inflation?," Papers fb-_88-29, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  16. Ammer, John & Campbell, John, 1993. "What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," Scholarly Articles 3382857, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Kenneth A. Froot, 1987. "New Hope for the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 2363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. John Y. Campbell, 1986. "A Defense of Traditional Hypotheses About the Term Structure of InterestRates," NBER Working Papers 1508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Melino, Angelo, 1988. " The Term Structure of Interest Rates: Evidence and Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(4), pages 335-66.
  20. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  22. Henning Bohn, . "A Positive Theory of Foreign Currency Debt," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 19-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  23. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  24. Arturo Estrella & Gikas A. Hardouvelis, 1989. "The term structure as a predictor of real economic activity," Research Paper 8907, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  25. Franco Modigliani & Richard Sutch, 1967. "Debt Management and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: An Empirical Analysis of Recent Experience," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 569.
  26. Brown, Roger H. & Schaefer, Stephen M., 1994. "The term structure of real interest rates and the Cox, Ingersoll, and Ross model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 3-42, February.
  27. McCulloch, J Huston, 1975. "The Tax-Adjusted Yield Curve," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 811-30, June.
  28. Hicks, J. R., 1975. "Value and Capital: An Inquiry into some Fundamental Principles of Economic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198282693, March.
  29. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1989. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," NBER Working Papers 3153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Fama, Eugene F., 1990. "Term-structure forecasts of interest rates, inflation and real returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-76, January.
  31. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1988. "The information in forward rates : Implications for models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 41-70, May.
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