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Forecasting Government Bond Yields with Large Bayesian VARs

  • Carriero, Andrea
  • Kapetanios, George
  • Marcellino, Massimiliano

We propose a new approach to forecasting the term structure of interest rates, which allows to efficiently extract the information contained in a large panel of yields. In particular, we use a large Bayesian Vector Autoregression (BVAR) with an optimal amount of shrinkage towards univariate AR models. Focusing on the U.S., we provide an extensive study on the forecasting performance of our proposed model relative to most of the existing alternative specifications. While most of the existing evidence focuses on statistical measures of forecast accuracy, we also evaluate the performance of the alternative forecasts when used within trading schemes or as a basis for portfolio allocation. We extensively check the robustness of our results via subsample analysis and via a data based Monte Carlo simulation. We find that: i) our proposed BVAR approach produces forecasts systematically more accurate than the random walk forecasts, though the gains are small; ii) some models beat the BVAR for a few selected maturities and forecast horizons, but they perform much worse than the BVAR in the remaining cases; iii) predictive gains with respect to the random walk have decreased over time; iv) different loss functions (i.e., "statistical" vs "economic") lead to different ranking of specific models; v) modelling time variation in term premia is important and useful for forecasting.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7796.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7796
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  1. De Mol, Christine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2008. "Forecasting using a large number of predictors: Is Bayesian shrinkage a valid alternative to principal components?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 318-328, October.
  2. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "A comparison of direct and iterated multistep AR methods for forecasting macroeconomic time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 499-526.
  3. Andrea Carriero & Raffaella Giacomini, 2011. "How useful are no-arbitrage restrictions for forecasting the term structure of interest rates?," Post-Print hal-00844809, HAL.
  4. de Jong, Frank, 1999. "Time-series and Cross-section Information in Affine Term Structure Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 2065, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "Bayesian methods for dynamic multivariate models," Working Paper 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
  7. Andrea Carriero & George Kapetanios & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2009. "Forecasting Large Datasets with Bayesian Reduced Rank Multivariate Models," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/31, European University Institute.
  8. Almeida, Caio & Vicente, José, 2008. "The role of no-arbitrage on forecasting: Lessons from a parametric term structure model," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2695-2705, December.
  9. Kadiyala, K Rao & Karlsson, Sune, 1997. "Numerical Methods for Estimation and Inference in Bayesian VAR-Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 99-132, March-Apr.
  10. Favero, Carlo A. & Niu, Linlin & Sala, Luca, 2007. "Term Structure Forecasting: No-Arbitrage Restrictions vs Large Information Set," CEPR Discussion Papers 6206, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Forecasting and conditional projection using realistic prior distribution," Staff Report 93, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. 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.
  13. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  14. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 2005. "Small sample properties of forecasts from autoregressive models under structural breaks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 129(1-2), pages 183-217.
  15. A. Carriero & G. Kapetanios & M. Marcellino, 2008. "Forecasting Exchange Rates with a Large Bayesian VAR," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/33, European University Institute.
  16. Andrew Ang & Monika Piazzesi, 2001. "A No-Arbitrage Vector Autoregression of Term Structure Dynamics with Macroeconomic and Latent Variables," NBER Working Papers 8363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bauwens, Luc & Lubrano, Michel & Richard, Jean-Francois, 2000. "Bayesian Inference in Dynamic Econometric Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773139, March.
  18. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
  19. Ho, Mun S & Sorensen, Bent E, 1996. "Finding Cointegration Rank in High Dimensional Systems Using the Johansen Test: An Illustration Using Data Based Monte Carlo Simulations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 726-32, November.
  20. Michiel D. de Pooter & Francesco Ravazzolo & Dick van Dijk, 2007. "Predicting the Term Structure of Interest Rates: Incorporating Parameter Uncertainty, Model Uncertainty and Macroeconomic Information," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-028/4, Tinbergen Institute.
  21. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  22. repec:dgr:uvatin:20070028 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Moench, Emanuel, 2008. "Forecasting the yield curve in a data-rich environment: A no-arbitrage factor-augmented VAR approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 26-43, September.
  24. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch & S. Boragan Aruoba, 2004. "The Macroeconomy and the Yield Curve: A Dynamic Latent Factor Approach," NBER Working Papers 10616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Gregory R. Duffee, 2002. "Term Premia and Interest Rate Forecasts in Affine Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 405-443, 02.
  26. Darrell Duffie & Rui Kan, 1996. "A Yield-Factor Model Of Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 379-406.
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