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Optimal Demand For Long-Term Bonds When Returns Are Predictable

  • Javier Gil-Bazo

    ()

This paper further explores the horizon effect in the optimal static and dynamic demand for risky assets under return predictability as documented by Barberis (2000). Contrary to the case of stocks, the optimal demand for long-term Government bonds of a buy-and-hold investor is not necessarily increasing in the investment horizon, and may in fact be decreasing for some initial levels of the predicting variable. The paper provides an analytical explanation based on the dependence of the mean variance ratio on the investor´s time horizon. Under stationarity of the predicting variable, unusually high or unusually low levels of the predictor tend to dissapear over time inducing the mean of cumulative returns to grow less or more than linearly as the investment horizon increases. If this effect dominates that on the variance, optimal demands can either be increasing or decresing in the investment horizon. On the other hand, the solution to the investor´s dynamic allocation problem in the presence of bonds indicates that long-term Government bonds do not provide a good hedge for adverse changes in the investor´s opportunity set: optimal dynamic demands for bonds do not differ from static portfolio choices at any horizon.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía de la Empresa in its series Business Economics Working Papers with number wb012308.

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Date of creation: Mar 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cte:wbrepe:wb012308
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  1. LuisM. Viceira & John Y. Campbell, 2001. "Who Should Buy Long-Term Bonds?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 99-127, March.
  2. John Y. Campbell, Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 195-228.
  3. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  4. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
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  6. Campbell, John Y., 1987. "Stock returns and the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 373-399, June.
  7. Campbell, John, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207695, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Doron Avramov, . "Stock-Return Predictability and Model Uncertainty," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 12-00, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  9. Michael W. Brandt, 1999. "Estimating Portfolio and Consumption Choice: A Conditional Euler Equations Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1609-1645, October.
  10. R. C. Merton, 1970. "Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model," Working papers 58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Campbell, John Y & Kyle, Albert S, 1993. "Smart Money, Noise Trading and Stock Price Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 1-34, January.
  12. Donald B. Keim & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Predicting Returns in the Stock and Bond Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  13. Yacine Aït-Sahalia, 2001. "Variable Selection for Portfolio Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1297-1351, 08.
  14. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Klein, Roger W. & Bawa, Vijay S., 1976. "The effect of estimation risk on optimal portfolio choice," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 215-231, June.
  18. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  19. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Lynch, Anthony W., 1999. "Transaction costs and predictability: some utility cost calculations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 47-78, April.
  20. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
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