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Intelligible factors for the yield curve


  • Lengwiler, Yvan
  • Lenz, Carlos


We construct a factor model of the yield curve and specify time series processes for these factors, so that the innovations are mutually orthogonal. At the same time, the factors are such that they assume clear, intuitive interpretations. The resulting "intelligible factors" should prove useful for investment professionals to discuss expectations about yield curves and the implied dynamics. Moreover, they allow us to distinguish announced changes of the monetary policy stance versus monetary policy surprises, which we find to be rare. We identify two such events, namely September 11, 2001, and the Fed reaction to the sub-prime crisis of 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Lengwiler, Yvan & Lenz, Carlos, 2010. "Intelligible factors for the yield curve," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 481-491, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:157:y:2010:i:2:p:481-491

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Moench, Emanuel, 2008. "Forecasting the yield curve in a data-rich environment: A no-arbitrage factor-augmented VAR approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 26-43, September.
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    6. BAUWENS, Luc & DEPRINS, Dominique & VANDEUREN, Jean-Pierre, 1997. "Modelling interest rates with a cointegrated VAR-GARCH model," CORE Discussion Papers 1997080, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Söderlind, 2010. "Reaction of Swiss Term Premia to Monetary Policy Surprises," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(I), pages 385-404, March.
    2. Morten L Bech & Yvan Lengwiler, 2012. "The financial crisis and the changing dynamics of the yield curve," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Threat of fiscal dominance?, volume 65, pages 257-276 Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Borus Jungbacker & Siem Jan Koopman & Michel van der Wel, 0000. "Dynamic Factor Models with Smooth Loadings for Analyzing the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-041/4, Tinbergen Institute, revised 17 Sep 2010.

    More about this item


    Term structure of interest rates Dynamic factor model Vector autoregression Monetary policy shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects


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