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Interest Rates Under Falling Stars

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Theory predicts that the equilibrium real interest rate, r*, and the perceived trend in inflation, pi*, are key determinants of the term structure of interest rates. However, term structure analyses generally assume that these endpoints are constant. Instead, we show that allowing for time variation in both r* and pi* is crucial for understanding the empirical dynamics of U.S. Treasury yields and risk pricing. Our evidence reveals that accounting for fluctuations in both r* and pi* substantially increases the accuracy of long-range interest rate forecasts, helps predict excess bond returns, improves estimates of the term premium in long-term interest rates, and captures a substantial share of interest rate variability at low frequencies.

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File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/wp2017-16.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2017-16.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jul 2017
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2017-16
DOI: 10.24148/wp2017-16
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  1. Dewachter, Hans & Iania, Leonardo, 2012. "An Extended Macro-Finance Model with Financial Factors," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(06), pages 1893-1916, February.
  2. John Y. Campbell & Pierre Perron, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know About Unit Roots," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 141-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2014. "Term Premia and Inflation Uncertainty: Empirical Evidence from an International Panel Dataset: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 323-337, January.
  4. Ang, Andrew & Piazzesi, Monika, 2003. "A no-arbitrage vector autoregression of term structure dynamics with macroeconomic and latent variables," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 745-787, May.
  5. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
  6. Wallace, Myles S & Warner, John T, 1993. "The Fisher Effect and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: Tests of Cointegration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 320-324, May.
  7. repec:bla:restud:v:57:y:1990:i:1:p:99-125 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Wachter, Jessica A., 2006. "A consumption-based model of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 365-399, February.
  9. Lukasz Rachel & Thomas Smith, 2015. "Secular Drivers of the Global Real Interest Rate," Discussion Papers 1605, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
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  11. James D. Hamilton & Ethan S. Harris & Jan Hatzius & Kenneth D. West, 2016. "The Equilibrium Real Funds Rate: Past, Present, and Future," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(4), pages 660-707, November.
  12. Holston, Kathryn & Laubach, Thomas & Williams, John C., 2017. "Measuring the natural rate of interest: International trends and determinants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(S1), pages 59-75.
  13. repec:cup:jfinqa:v:46:y:2011:i:06:p:1893-1916_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Hansen, Bruce E., 1992. "Efficient estimation and testing of cointegrating vectors in the presence of deterministic trends," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 87-121.
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  16. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2016. "Monetary Policy Expectations at the Zero Lower Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(7), pages 1439-1465, October.
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