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Explaining the term structure of interest rates: A panel data approach

  • Mayfield, E. Scott
  • Murphy, Robert G.

This paper demonstrates that a time-varying risk premium can account for the rejection of the expectations theory of the term structure of interest rates. Rather than model risks directly, in terms of observables, we instead exploit an implication of the capital asset pricing model concerning how risk premia for a given maturity structure will vary through time in a related manner across different types of assets. We use a panel data set of returns on Eurocurrency deposits and employ cross-section/time-series methods to account for related movements in risk premia across assets that differ by currency denomination. We find that our ability to explain the term structure of interest rates is greatly improved by allowing for these unobserved but related movements in risk premia. In addition, the methodology developed in this paper can be used to model time-varying risk premia when studying other types of present-value relationships in financial markets.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economics and Business.

Volume (Year): 48 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 11-21

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jebusi:v:48:y:1996:i:1:p:11-21
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  1. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  2. John Y. Campbell & Richard H. Clarida, 1985. "The Term Structure of Euromarket Interest Rates: An Empirical Investigation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 772R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1986.
  3. Engle, Robert F. & Ng, Victor K. & Rothschild, Michael, 1990. "Asset pricing with a factor-arch covariance structure : Empirical estimates for treasury bills," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 213-237.
  4. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
  5. Lewis, Karen K, 1990. " The Behavior of Eurocurrency Returns across Different Holding Periods and Monetary Regimes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1211-36, September.
  6. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, 09.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 61-110.
  8. Mayfield, E. Scott & Murphy, Robert G., 1992. "Interest rate parity and the exchange risk premium Evidence from panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 319-324, November.
  9. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1984. "A Simple Account of the Behavior of Long-Term Interest Rates," Scholarly Articles 3208216, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Shiller, Robert J., 1981. "Alternative tests of rational expectations models : The case of the term structure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 71-87, May.
  12. Robert F. Engle & Victor K. Ng, 1991. "Time-Varying Volatility and the Dynamic Behavior of the Term Structure," NBER Working Papers 3682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Sanford J. Grossman & Robert J. Shiller, 1981. "Consumption Correlatedness and Risk Measurement in Economies with Non trade Assets and Heterogeneous Information," NBER Working Papers 0690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Angelo Melino, 1986. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates: Evidence and Theory," NBER Working Papers 1828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Robert E. Cumby, 1987. "Is it Risk? Explaining Deviations from Uncovered Interest Parity," NBER Working Papers 2380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Kugler, Peter, 1990. "The term structure of Euro interest rates and rational expectations," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 234-244, June.
  18. Matthew D. Shapiro & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Risk and Return: Consumption Beta Versus Market Beta," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 738, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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