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Bond risk, bond return volatility, and the term structure of interest rates

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  • Viceira, Luis M.

Abstract

This paper explores the time variation in the bond risk, as measured by the covariation of bond returns with stock returns and consumption growth, and in the volatility of bond returns. A robust stylized fact in empirical finance is that the spread between the yields on long- and short-term bonds forecasts future excess returns on bonds at varying horizons positively; in addition, the short-term nominal interest rate forecasts both the stock return volatility and the exchange rate volatility positively. This paper presents evidence that movements in both the short-term nominal interest rate and the yield spread are positively related to changes in the subsequent realized bond risk and bond return volatility. The yield spread appears to proxy for business conditions, while the short rate appears to proxy for inflation and economic uncertainty. A decomposition of bond betas into a real cash flow risk component and a discount rate risk component shows that yield spreads have offsetting effects in each component. A widening yield spread is correlated with a reduced cash-flow (or inflationary) risk for bonds, but it is also correlated with a larger discount rate risk for bonds. The short rate only forecasts the discount rate component of the bond beta.

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  • Viceira, Luis M., 2012. "Bond risk, bond return volatility, and the term structure of interest rates," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 97-117.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:28:y:2012:i:1:p:97-117
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2011.02.018
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    1. Aslanidis, Nektarios & Christiansen, Charlotte, 2012. "Smooth transition patterns in the realized stock–bond correlation," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 454-464.
    2. Hossein Asgharian & Charlotte Christiansen & Ai Jun Hou, 2016. "Macro-Finance Determinants of the Long-Run Stock–Bond Correlation: The DCC-MIDAS Specification," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 14(3), pages 617-642.
    3. repec:eee:jimfin:v:83:y:2018:i:c:p:44-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Nektarios Aslanidis & Charlotte Christiansen, 0711. "Flight to Safety from European Stock Markets," CREATES Research Papers 2017-38, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    5. Skintzi, Vasiliki, 2017. "Determinants of stock-bond market comovement in the Eurozone under model uncertainty," MPRA Paper 78278, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Dovonon, Prosper & Gonçalves, Sílvia & Meddahi, Nour, 2013. "Bootstrapping realized multivariate volatility measures," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 172(1), pages 49-65.
    7. repec:cuf:journl:y:2017:v:18:i:2:tong is not listed on IDEAS
    8. John Y. Campbell & Carolin Pflueger & Luis M. Viceira, 2013. "Monetary Policy Drivers of Bond and Equity Risks," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-031, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2015.
    9. Yao, Haixiang & Li, Zhongfei & Chen, Shumin, 2014. "Continuous-time mean–variance portfolio selection with only risky assets," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 244-251.
    10. repec:eee:reveco:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:285-294 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Asgharian, Hossein & Christiansen, Charlotte & Hou, Ai Jun, 2015. "Effects of macroeconomic uncertainty on the stock and bond markets," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 10-16.
    12. Aslanidis, Nektarios & Christiansen, Charlotte, 2014. "Quantiles of the realized stock–bond correlation and links to the macroeconomy," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 321-331.
    13. repec:cuf:journl:y:2017:v:18:i:1:tong is not listed on IDEAS
    14. : Arie E. Gozluklu, 2012. "Inflation, Stock Market and Long-Term Investors: Real Effects of Changing Demographics," Working Papers wpn12-06, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
    15. repec:eee:jfinec:v:126:y:2017:i:3:p:668-688 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Chao, Shih-Wei, 2016. "Do economic variables improve bond return volatility forecasts?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 10-26.
    17. Alex Hsu & Erica X. N. Li & Francisco J. Palomino, 2016. "Real and Nominal Equilibrium Yield Curves: Wage Rigidities and Permanent Shocks," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-032, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Abhyankar, Abhay & Klinkowska, Olga & Lee, Soyeon, 2015. "Consumption risk and the cross-section of government bond returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 180-200.
    19. Harumi Ohmi & Tatsuyoshi Okimoto, 2016. "Trends in stock-bond correlations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 536-552, February.
    20. Fricke, Christoph, 2012. "Expected and unexpected bond excess returns: Macroeconomic and market microstructure effects," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-493, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    21. Stanislav Anatolyev & Jozef Barunik, 2017. "A simple model for forecasting conditional return distributions," Papers 1711.05681, arXiv.org.
    22. Favero, Carlo A. & Ortu, Fulvio & Tamoni, Andrea & Yang, Haoxi, 2016. "Implications of Return Predictability across Horizons for Asset Pricing Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 11645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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