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Evolving macroeconomic perceptions and the term structure of interest rates

  • Athanasios Orphanides
  • Min Wei

We explore the role of evolving beliefs regarding the structure of the macroeconomy in improving our understanding of the term structure of interest rates within the context of a simple macro-finance model. Using quarterly vintages of real-time data and survey forecasts for the United States over the past 40 years, we show that a recursively estimated VAR on real GDP growth, inflation and the nominal short-term interest generates predictions that are more consistent with survey forecasts than a benchmark fixed-coefficient counterpart. We then estimate a simple term structure model under the assumption that the investors' risk attitude is driven by near-term expectations of the three state variables. When we allow for evolving beliefs about the macroeconomy, the resulting term structure model provides a better fit to the cross section of yields than the benchmark model, especially at longer maturities, and exhibits better performance in out-of-sample predictions of future yield movements.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2010-01.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2010-01
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  1. 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.
  2. A. Orphanides & J. Williams, 2003. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  6. Albert Lee Chun, 2011. "Expectations, Bond Yields, and Monetary Policy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(1), pages 208-247.
  7. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C, 2005. "Inflation Scares and Forecast-Based Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Tao Wu, 2003. "A macro-finance model of the term structure, monetary policy, and the economy," Working Paper Series 2003-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Timothy Cogley, 2005. "Changing Beliefs and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: Cross-Equation Restrictions with Drifting Parameters," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 420-451, April.
  10. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Evolving Post-World War II U.S. Inflation Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 331-388 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Stefania D'Amico & Don H. Kim & Min Wei, 2010. "Tips from TIPS: the informational content of Treasury Inflation-Protected Security prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Seonghoon Cho & Antonio Moreno & Geert Bekaert, 2005. "New-Keynesian Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," Faculty Working Papers 04/05, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
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  16. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Erratum to "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(7), pages 1849-1849, October.
  17. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2006. "A simple recursive forecasting model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 158-166, May.
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  19. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Term structure views of monetary policy under alternative models of agent expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 149-184, January.
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  21. Andrew Ang & Jean Boivin & Sen Dong & Rudy Loo-Kung, 2011. "Monetary Policy Shifts and the Term Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 429-457.
  22. Thomas Laubach & Robert J. Tetlow & John C. Williams, 2007. "Learning and the Role of Macroeconomic Factors in the Term Structure of Interest Rates," 2007 Meeting Papers 476, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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