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The Information Content of the French and German Government Bond Tield Curves: Why Such Differences?

  • Jondeau, E.
  • Ricart, R.

In this paper, we evaluate the information content of the yield curve as regards future interest rates and inflation in France and Germany. An original data set of long-term zero-coupon interest rates for French and German government bonds was constructed for the period 1980-97. Empirical evidence shows that the German yield curve has a significant information content about the future average change in short-term rates and the future path of inflation. The information content of the French yield curve is much more limited and is only relevant for the average change in short-term rates. We show that the difference between the results obtained for both countries mainly stems from lower variability in German risk premia than in French risk premia.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 61.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:61
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Fama, Eugene F., 1990. "Term-structure forecasts of interest rates, inflation and real returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-76, January.
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  10. Nelson, Charles R & Siegel, Andrew F, 1987. "Parsimonious Modeling of Yield Curves," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 473-89, October.
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  14. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1988. "The Information in the Term Structure: Some Further Results," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(4), pages 307-14, October-D.
  15. 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.
  16. Gikas A. Hardouvelis, 1987. "The predictive power of the term structure during recent monetary regimes," Research Paper 8708, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  18. Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. "Dividend Yields and Expected Stock Returns: Alternative Procedures for Inference and Measurement," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 357-86.
  19. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1991. "A Multi-Country Study of the Information in the Term Structure about Future Inflation," NBER Working Papers 3125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1995. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates and Its Role in Monetary Policy for The European Central Bank," NBER Working Papers 5279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
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  25. Schich, Sebastian T., 1996. "Alternative specifications of the German term structure and its information content regarding inflation," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 1996,08e, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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