IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The empirical failure of the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of bond yields

  • Lucio Sarno
  • Daniel L. Thornton
  • Giorgio Valente

This paper tests the expectations hypothesis (EH) using US monthly data for bond yields spanning the 1952-2003 sample period and ranging in maturity from 1 month to 10 years. We apply the Lagrange multiplier test developed by Bekaert and Hodrick (2001) and extend it to increase the test power: (a) by introducing economic variables as conditioning information; and (b) by using more than two bond yields in the model and testing the EH jointly on more than one pair of yields. While the conventional bivariate procedure provides mixed results, the more powerful testing procedures suggest rejection of the EH throughout the maturity spectrum examined. ; Earlier titles: Testing the expectations hypothesis: some new evidence, New evidence on the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of bond yields

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2003-021.

in new window

Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2003-021
Contact details of provider: Postal:
P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, MO 63166

Fax: (314)444-8753
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Engsted, Tom & Tanggaard, Carsten, 1994. "Cointegration and the US term structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 167-181, January.
  2. Geert Bekaert, 2001. "Expectations Hypotheses Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1357-1394, 08.
  3. Dewachter, H.D.R. & Lyrio, M., 2003. "Macro factors and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2003-037-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  4. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 173-224.
  5. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
  6. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Shifting endpoints in the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 613-652, June.
  7. Lucio Sarno & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "The dynamic relationship between the federal funds rate and the Treasury bill rate: an empirical investigation," Working Papers 2000-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Campbell, John, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Scholarly Articles 3163264, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Andrew Ang & Monika Piazzesi & Min Wei, 2003. "What does the yield curve tell us about GDP growth?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  10. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  11. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert, 2002. "Regime Switches in Interest Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 163-82, April.
  12. Campbell, John & Shiller, Robert, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Scholarly Articles 3122490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1985. "Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  15. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  16. Iryna Kaminska & Andrea Carriero & Carlo A. Favero, 2004. "Financial Factors, Macroeconomic Information and the Expectations Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 76, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?," Papers 8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  18. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch & S. Boragan Aruoba, 2004. "The Macroeconomy and the Yield Curve: A Dynamic Latent Factor Approach," NBER Working Papers 10616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
  20. Piazzesi, Monika & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 677-691, May.
  21. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick & David A. Marshall, 1996. "On Biases in Tests of the Expecations Hypothesis of the Term Structure Of Interest Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Daniel F. Waggoner, 1997. "Spline methods for extracting interest rate curves from coupon bond prices," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 97-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  23. Giorgio Valente & Mark Taylor & Lucio Sarno & Richard Clarida, 2004. "The Role of Asymmetries and Regime Shifts in the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Working Papers wp04-13, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  24. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-58, May.
  25. Frankel, Jeff & Froot, Ken, 1986. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1972q8wm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  26. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Scholarly Articles 3221490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  27. William Roberds & Charles H. Whiteman, 1996. "Endogenous term premia and anomalies in the term structure of interest rates: explaining the predictability smile," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 96-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  28. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  30. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2003. "The excess sensitivity of long-term interest rates: evidence and implications for macroeconomic models," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  31. Andrew Ang & Monika Piazzesi, 2001. "A No-Arbitrage Vector Autoregression of Term Structure Dynamics with Macroeconomic and Latent Variables," NBER Working Papers 8363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Antonio Moreno & Geert Bekaert & Seonghoon Cho, 2004. "New-Keynesian Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," 2004 Meeting Papers 388, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  33. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  34. Kenneth A. Froot, 1987. "New Hope for the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 2363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Kool, Clemens J. M. & Thornton, Daniel L., 2004. "A note on the expectations hypothesis at the founding of the Fed," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 3055-3068, December.
  36. Simon, David P, 1990. " Expectations and the Treasury Bill-Federal Funds Rate Spread over Recent Monetary Policy Regimes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 467-77, June.
  37. Hall, Anthony D & Anderson, Heather M & Granger, Clive W J, 1992. "A Cointegration Analysis of Treasury Bill Yields," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 116-26, February.
  38. Bekaert, Geert & Wei, Min & Xing, Yuhang, 2007. "Uncovered interest rate parity and the term structure," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1038-1069, October.
  39. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2003-021. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna Xiao)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.