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Does Macroeconomics Help Us To Understand the Term Structure of Interest Rates?

Listed author(s):
  • Favero, Carlo A.

The expectations model of the term structure states that the yields to maturity of long-term bonds are equal to the average of expected future short-term bond yields. This venerable model has been subjected to numerous empirical tests and almost invariably rejected. The empirical failure is generally attributed either to systematic expectations errors, or to shifts in the risk premia. In fact, the empirical tests, based on the estimation of single-equation models, are not able to discriminate between these two hypotheses. A recent strand of the macro-economic literature has analysed monetary policy by including the central bank reaction function is small empirical macro models. By simulating these models forward it is possible to derive the full forward path of short-term interest rates and hence to construct any long-term interest rate consistent with the expectations model. A direct test of the theory, based on full information, can then be immediately constructed by comparing observed long-term rates with the simulated ones and the associated 95% confidence interval. This is what we do in this Paper. Our results shed new light on the empirical validity of the expectations model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2849.

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Date of creation: Jun 2001
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2849
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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
  2. Soderlind, Paul & Svensson, Lars, 1997. "New techniques to extract market expectations from financial instruments," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 383-429, October.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-228.
  4. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1062-1088, October.
  5. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  6. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 129-152, Summer.
  7. 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.
  8. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-239, March.
  9. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1999. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semiclassical Structural Model," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 15-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard H. Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  12. Favero, Carlo A & Rovelli, Riccardo, 2003. " Macroeconomic Stability and the Preferences of the Fed: A Formal Analysis, 1961-98," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 545-556, August.
  13. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Bertola, Giuseppe & Foresi, Silverio, 1997. "A model of target changes and the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-249, July.
  14. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 296-316, August.
  15. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 173-224.
  16. 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.
  17. Favero, Carlo A., 2001. "Applied Macroeconometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296850, April.
  18. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  19. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
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