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Bond Risk Premia and Gaussian Term Structure Models

Listed author(s):
  • Bruno Feunou
  • Jean-Sébastien Fontaine

Cochrane and Piazzesi (2005) show that (i) lagged forward rates improve the predictability of annual bond returns, adding to current forward rates, and that (ii) a Markovian model for monthly forward rates cannot generate the pattern of predictability in annual returns. These results stand as a challenge to modern Markovian dynamic term structure models (DTSMs). We develop the family of conditional mean DTSMs where the yield dynamics depend on current yields and their history. Empirically, we find that (i) current and past yields generate cyclical risk-premium variations, (ii) the model risk premia offer better returns forecasts, and (iii) the model coefficients are close to Cochrane-Piazzesi regressions of long-horizon returns. Yield decompositions differ significantly from what a standard model suggests - the expectation component decreases less in a recession and increases less in the recovery. A small Markovian factor “hidden” in measurement error (Duffee, 2011) explains some of the differences but is not sufficient to match the evidence.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Staff Working Papers with number 14-13.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 2014
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:14-13
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  1. Jardet, Caroline & Monfort, Alain & Pegoraro, Fulvio, 2013. "No-arbitrage Near-Cointegrated VAR(p) term structure models, term premia and GDP growth," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 389-402.
  2. Fiorentini, Gabriele & Sentana, Enrique, 1998. "Conditional Means of Time Series Processes and Time Series Processes for Conditional Means," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1118, November.
  3. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Term premiums in bond returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 529-546, December.
  4. Ang, Andrew & Piazzesi, Monika, 2003. "A no-arbitrage vector autoregression of term structure dynamics with macroeconomic and latent variables," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 745-787, May.
  5. Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2009. "Macro Factors in Bond Risk Premia," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 5027-5067, December.
  6. Froot, Kenneth A, 1989. " New Hope for the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 283-305, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Andrew Ang & Sen Dong & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "No-arbitrage Taylor rules," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Ravenna, Federico, 2007. "Vector autoregressions and reduced form representations of DSGE models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2048-2064, October.
  10. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 495-514.
  11. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1975. "Seemingly unrelated nonlinear regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 35-50, February.
  12. David K. Backus & Jonathan H. Wright, 2007. "Cracking the Conundrum," Working Papers 07-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  13. Scott Joslin & Kenneth J. Singleton & Haoxiang Zhu, 2011. "A New Perspective on Gaussian Dynamic Term Structure Models," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 926-970.
  14. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1481-1509, August.
  16. Alain Monfort & Fulvio Pegoraro, 2007. "Switching VARMA Term Structure Models," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 5(1), pages 105-153.
  17. David K. Backus & Jonathan H. Wright, 2007. "Cracking the Conundrum," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(1), pages 293-329.
  18. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
  19. Gregory R. Duffee, 2011. "Information in (and not in) the Term Structure," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(9), pages 2895-2934.
  20. Bruno Feunou & Jean-Sébastien Fontaine, 2012. "Forecasting Inflation and the Inflation Risk Premiums Using Nominal Yields," Staff Working Papers 12-37, Bank of Canada.
  21. Fama, Eugene F & Bliss, Robert R, 1987. "The Information in Long-Maturity Forward Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 680-692, September.
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