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The information content of the term structure of interest rates

  • Petko Kalev
  • Brett Inder

This paper presents the results of an alternative test of the rational expectations theory of the term structure of interest rates. Other researchers have also examined the validity of the expectations hypothesis of term structure. While there is more often rejection of the expectations hypothesis, no other theory (data-consistent with the entire yield curve) provides an empirically adequate explanation of this phenomenon. The study considers postwar US pure discount (zero coupons) bond yields with various maturities, from one month to 60 months. Based on the ex post formation of rational expectations, the expectations error is quantified and the level of truth of the expectations hypothesis tested, that is, the strength of the departure of the yield curve from the expectations theory. The results suggest that a significant amount of information available at no cost to market agents is not incorporated in forming people's expectations.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 33-45

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:38:y:2006:i:1:p:33-45
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  1. Hall, Anthony D & Anderson, Heather M & Granger, Clive W J, 1992. "A Cointegration Analysis of Treasury Bill Yields," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 116-26, February.
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  12. Driffill, John & Psaradakis, Zacharias & Sola, Martin, 1997. "A Reconciliation of Some Paradoxical Empirical Results on the Expectations Model of the Term Structure," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(1), pages 29-42, February.
  13. 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.
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