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The Predictive Power of the Yield Spread: Further Evidence and A Structural Interpretation

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  • Favero, Carlo A.
  • Kaminska, Iryna
  • Söderström, Ulf

Abstract

This paper brings together two strands of the empirical macro literature: the reduced-form evidence that the yield spread helps in forecasting output and the structural evidence on the difficulties of estimating the effect of monetary policy on output in an intertemporal Euler equation. We show that including a short-term interest rate and inflation in the forecasting equation improves the forecasting performance of the spread for future output but the coefficients on the short rate and inflation are difficult to interpret using a standard macroeconomic framework. A decomposition of the yield spread into an expectations-related component and a term premium allows a better understanding of the forecasting model. In fact, the best forecasting model for output is obtained by considering the term premium, the short-term interest rate and inflation as predictors. We provide a possible structural interpretation of these results by allowing for time-varying risk aversion, linearly related to our estimate of the term premium, in an intertemporal Euler equation for output.

Suggested Citation

  • Favero, Carlo A. & Kaminska, Iryna & Söderström, Ulf, 2005. "The Predictive Power of the Yield Spread: Further Evidence and A Structural Interpretation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4910
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    2. B. De Backer & M. Deroose & Ch. Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2019. "Is a recession imminent? The signal of the yield curve," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue i, pages 69-93, June.
    3. Plakandaras, Vasilios & Gogas, Periklis & Papadimitriou, Theophilos & Gupta, Rangan, 2019. "A re-evaluation of the term spread as a leading indicator," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 476-492.
    4. Carluccio Bianchi & Alessandro Carta & Dean Fantazzini & Maria Elena De Giuli & Mario Maggi, 2010. "A copula-VAR-X approach for industrial production modelling and forecasting," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(25), pages 3267-3277.
    5. Vasilios Plakandaras & Periklis Gogas & Theophilos Papadimitriou & Rangan Gupta, 2016. "The Term Premium as a Leading Macroeconomic Indicator," Working Papers 201613, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    6. Luca Benzoni & Olena Chyruk & David Kelley, 2018. "Why Does the Yield-Curve Slope Predict Recessions?," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. Ireland, Peter N., 2015. "Monetary policy, bond risk premia, and the economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 124-140.
    8. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Schuermann, Til & Smith, L. Vanessa, 2009. "Forecasting economic and financial variables with global VARs," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 642-675, October.
    9. Etienne Vaccaro-Grange, 2019. "Quantitative Easing and the Term Premium as a Monetary Policy Instrument," AMSE Working Papers 1932, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    10. Matteo Modena, 2008. "The Term Structure and the Expectations Hypothesis: a Threshold Model," Working Papers 2008_36, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    11. Morell, Joseph, 2018. "The decline in the predictive power of the US term spread: A structural interpretation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 314-331.
    12. Todd Henry & Peter C.B. Phillips, 2020. "Forecasting Economic Activity Using the Yield Curve: Quasi-Real-Time Applications for New Zealand, Australia and the US," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2259, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    13. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Macroeconomic implications of changes in the term premium," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 89(Jul), pages 241-270.
    14. Goodhead, Robert & Parle, Conor, 2019. "Predicting Recessions in the Euro Area: A Factor Approach," Economic Letters 2/EL/19, Central Bank of Ireland.
    15. Richard K. Crump & Stefano Eusepi & Emanuel Moench, 2016. "The term structure of expectations and bond yields," Staff Reports 775, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    16. Hogrefe, Jens, 2007. "The yield spread and GDP growth - Time Varying Leading Properties and the Role of Monetary Policy," Economics Working Papers 2007-12, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    17. Modena, Matteo, 2008. "Yield curve, time varying term premia, and business cycle fluctuations," MPRA Paper 8873, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Lange, Ronald Henry, 2018. "The predictive content of the term premium for GDP growth in Canada: Evidence from linear, Markov-switching and probit estimations," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 80-91.
    19. Jiyoung Lee, 2015. "Disentangling the Predictive Power of Term Spreads under Inflation Targeting," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 419-450, September.
    20. 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.
    21. Mario Reyna Cerecero & Diana Salazar Cavazos & Héctor Salgado Banda, 2008. "The Yield Curve and its Relation with Economic Activity: The Mexican Case," Working Papers 2008-15, Banco de México.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    estimated Euler equation; forecasting; GDP growth; predictability; term structure of interest rates; yield curve;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects

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