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

  • Daniel L. Thornton

Despite its important role in macroeconomics and finance, the expectations hypothesis (EH) of the term structure of interest rates has received little empirical support. While the EH*s poor performance has been attributed to a variety of sources, none appear to account for the EH*s poor performance. Recent evidence (Diebold and Li, 2003; Duffee, 2002; and Carriero, et al., 2003) suggests the possibility that the EH*s poor performance may be due to market participants* relative inability to forecast the short-term rate. This possibility is investigate by comparing h-month ahead forecasts for the 1-month Treasury yield implied by the EH with the forecasts from both random-walk model and a three factor model of the term structure.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2004-010.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2004-010
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  1. Andrea Carriero & Carlo Favero & Iryna Kaminska, 2004. "Financial Factors, Macroeconomic Information and the Expectations Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Working Papers 253, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  6. Francis X. Diebold, & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Aruoba, S. Boragan, 2003. "The Macroeconomy and the Yield Curve: A Nonstructural Analysis," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/31, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  7. Francis X. Diebold & Canlin Li, 2002. "Forecasting the Term Structure of Government Bond Yields," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-34, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Siegel, Andrew F. & Nelson, Charles R., 1988. "Long-Term Behavior of Yield Curves," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(01), pages 105-110, March.
  9. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1989. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," NBER Working Papers 3153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Roberds, William & Whiteman, Charles H., 1999. "Endogenous term premia and anomalies in the term structure of interest rates: Explaining the predictability smile," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 555-580, December.
  17. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  18. Harvey, David I & Leybourne, Stephen J & Newbold, Paul, 1998. "Tests for Forecast Encompassing," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(2), pages 254-59, April.
  19. Tzavalis, Elias & Wickens, Michael R, 1997. "Explaining the Failures of the Term Spread Models of the Rational Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 364-80, August.
  20. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 1995. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 253-63, July.
  21. Michael Dotsey & Christopher Otrok, 1995. "The rational expectations hypothesis of the term structure, monetary policy, and time-varying term premia," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 65-81.
  22. 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.
  23. Harvey, David & Leybourne, Stephen & Newbold, Paul, 1997. "Testing the equality of prediction mean squared errors," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-291, June.
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