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Speculation, Risk Premia and Expectations in the Yield Curve

  • Barillas, Francisco
  • Nimark, Kristoffer P

An affine asset pricing model in which agents have rational but heterogeneous expectations about future asset prices is developed. We estimate the model using data on bond yields and individual survey responses from the Survey of Professional Forecasters and perform a novel three-way decomposition of bond yields into (i) average expectations about short rates (ii) risk premia and (iii) a speculative component due to heterogeneous expectations about the resale value of a bond. We prove that the speculative term must be orthogonal to public information in real time and therefore statistically distinct from risk premia. Empirically, the speculative component is quantitatively important, accounting for up to one percentage point of US yields. Furthermore, estimates of historical risk premia from the heterogeneous information model are less volatile than, and negatively correlated with, risk premia estimated using a standard Affine Gaussian Term Structure model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9755.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9755
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  1. Townsend, Robert M, 1983. "Forecasting the Forecasts of Others," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 546-88, August.
  2. Chernov, Mikhail & Mueller, Philippe, 2008. "The Term Structure of Inflation Expectations," CEPR Discussion Papers 6809, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Philippe Bacchetta & Elmar Mertens & Eric van Wincoop, 2006. "Predictability in Financial Markets: What Do Survey Expectations Tell Us?," Working Papers 102006, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  4. Kristoffer Nimark, 2009. "Speculative dynamics in the term structure of interest rates," Economics Working Papers 1194, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2012.
  5. Albert Lee Chun, 2005. "Expectations, Bond Yields and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 04-023, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Nov 2010.
  6. Hamilton, James D. & Wu, Jing Cynthia, 2012. "Identification and estimation of Gaussian affine term structure models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 168(2), pages 315-331.
  7. Kristoffer Nimark, 2007. "Dynamic higher order expectations," Economics Working Papers 1118, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2011.
  8. Andrea Buraschi & Alexei Jiltsov, 2006. "Model Uncertainty and Option Markets with Heterogeneous Beliefs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2841-2897, December.
  9. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
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