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Predictions of short-term rates and the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates

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  • Guidolin, Massimo
  • Thornton, Daniel L.

Abstract

Despite its important role in monetary policy and finance, the expectations hypothesis (EH) of the term structure of interest rates has received virtually no empirical support. The empirical failure of the EH was attributed to a variety of econometric biases associated with the single-equation models used to test it; however, none account for it. This paper analyses the EH by focusing on its fundamental tenet - the predictability of the short-term rate. This is done by comparing h-month ahead forecasts for the 1- and 3-month Treasury yields implied by the EH with the forecasts from random-walk, Diebold and Lei (2006), and Duffee (2002) models. The evidence suggests that the failure of the EH is likely a consequence of market participants' inability to predict the short-term rate. JEL Classification: E40, E52

Suggested Citation

  • Guidolin, Massimo & Thornton, Daniel L., 2008. "Predictions of short-term rates and the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates," Working Paper Series 977, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2008977
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stillwagon, Josh R., 2015. "Testing the expectations hypothesis with survey forecasts: The impacts of consumer sentiment and the zero lower bound in an I(2) CVAR," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 85-101.
    2. Erdemlioglu, Deniz, 2009. "Macro Factors in UK Excess Bond Returns: Principal Components and Factor-Model Approach," MPRA Paper 28895, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "How did we get to inflation targeting and where do we need to go to now? a perspective from the U.S. experience," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 65-81.
    4. Silva Lopes, Artur C. & Monteiro, Olga Susana, 2007. "The Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure: Some Empirical Evidence for Portugal," MPRA Paper 6310, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Dec 2007.
    5. Kool, Clemens J. M. & Thornton, Daniel L., 2015. "How Effective Is Central Bank Forward Guidance?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 97(4), pages 303-322.
    6. repec:taf:oaefxx:v:3:y:2015:i:1:p:1024927 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Peter Aling & Shakill Hassan, 2012. "No-Arbitrage One-Factor Models Of The South African Term Structure Of Interest Rates," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 80(3), pages 301-318, September.
    8. Olga Susana M. Monteiro & Artur C. B. da Silva Lopes, 2010. "Short- and Long-Run Tests of the Expectations Hypothesis: The Portuguese Case," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(3), pages 257-280.
    9. Daniel L. Thornton, 2009. "How did we get to inflation targeting and where do we go now? a perspective from the U.S. experience," Working Papers 2009-038, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    expectations theory; random walk; time-varying risk premium;

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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