IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedlwp/2010-013.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Predictions of short-term rates and the expectations hypothesis

Author

Listed:
  • Massimo Guidolin
  • Daniel L. Thornton

Abstract

Despite its 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 most often used to test it, although no bias seems to account for the extent and magnitude of the failure. This paper analyzes the EH by focusing on the predictability of the short-term rate. This is done by comparing h-month ahead forecasts for the 1- and 3-month Treasury bill yields implied by the EH with the forecasts from random-walk, Diebold and Li’s (2006), and Duffee’s (2002) models. The evidence suggests that the failure of the EH is likely a consequence of market participants’ inability to adequately predict the short-term rate, in that none of these models out-performs a simple random walk model in recursive, real time experiments. Using standard methods that take into account the additional uncertainty caused by the need to estimate model parameters, the null hypothesis of equal predictive accuracy of each models relative to the random walk alternative is never rejected.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Guidolin & Daniel L. Thornton, 2010. "Predictions of short-term rates and the expectations hypothesis," Working Papers 2010-013, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2010-013
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2010/2010-013.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Della Corte, Pasquale & Sarno, Lucio & Thornton, Daniel L., 2008. "The expectation hypothesis of the term structure of very short-term rates: Statistical tests and economic value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 158-174, July.
    2. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J. & Marshall, David A., 1997. "On biases in tests of the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 309-348, June.
    3. Geert Bekaert & Seonghoon Cho & Antonio Moreno, 2010. "New Keynesian Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(1), pages 33-62, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Thornton, Daniel L., 2005. "Tests of the expectations hypothesis: Resolving the anomalies when the short-term rate is the federal funds rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 2541-2556, October.
    6. McCracken, Michael W., 2004. "Parameter estimation and tests of equal forecast accuracy between non-nested models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 503-514.
    7. Froot, Kenneth A, 1989. " New Hope for the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 283-305, June.
    8. Sarno, Lucio & Thornton, Daniel L. & Valente, Giorgio, 2007. "The Empirical Failure of the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Bond Yields," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(01), pages 81-100, March.
    9. Geert Bekaert, 2001. "Expectations Hypotheses Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1357-1394, August.
    10. Engle, Robert F & Ng, Victor K, 1993. "Time-Varying Volatility and the Dynamic Behavior of the Term Structure," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(3), pages 336-349, August.
    11. Carriero, Andrea & Favero, Carlo A. & Kaminska, Iryna, 2006. "Financial factors, macroeconomic information and the Expectations Theory of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 339-358.
    12. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 129-152, Summer.
    13. West, Kenneth D, 1996. "Asymptotic Inference about Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1067-1084, September.
    14. Diebold, Francis X. & Li, Canlin, 2006. "Forecasting the term structure of government bond yields," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 337-364, February.
    15. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert, 2002. "Short rate nonlinearities and regime switches," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1243-1274, July.
    16. Backus, David K. & Gregory, Allan W. & Zin, Stanley E., 1989. "Risk premiums in the term structure : Evidence from artificial economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 371-399, November.
    17. John C. Cox & Jonathan E. Ingersoll Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 2005. "A Theory Of The Term Structure Of Interest Rates," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 5, pages 129-164 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    18. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-144, January.
    19. Eric Ghysels & Serena Ng, 1998. "A Semiparametric Factor Model Of Interest Rates And Tests Of The Affine Term Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 535-548, November.
    20. Pierluigi Balduzzi & Sanjiv Ranjan Das & Silverio Foresi, 1998. "The Central Tendency: A Second Factor In Bond Yields," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 62-72, February.
    21. Juha Seppala & Federico Ravenna, 2005. "Monetary Policy and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," 2005 Meeting Papers 804, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Dewachter, Hans & Lyrio, Marco, 2006. "The cost of technical trading rules in the Forex market: A utility-based evaluation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1072-1089, November.
    23. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
    24. Thornton, Daniel L., 2006. "Tests of the Expectations Hypothesis: Resolving the Campbell-Shiller Paradox," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(2), pages 511-542, March.
    25. Fama, Eugene F., 1976. "Forward rates as predictors of future spot rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 361-377, October.
    26. 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.
    27. Guidolin, Massimo & Timmermann, Allan, 2009. "Forecasts of US short-term interest rates: A flexible forecast combination approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 150(2), pages 297-311, June.
    28. Roberds, William & Runkle, David & Whiteman, Charles H, 1996. "A Daily View of Yield Spreads and Short-Term Interest Rate Movements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 34-53, February.
    29. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
    30. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J. & Marshall, David A., 2001. "Peso problem explanations for term structure anomalies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 241-270, October.
    31. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-228.
    32. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
    33. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
    34. Favero, Carlo A. & Niu, Linlin & Sala, Luca, 2007. "Term Structure Forecasting: No-Arbitrage Restrictions vs Large Information Set," CEPR Discussion Papers 6206, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    35. 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.
    36. 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 116-126, February.
    37. Markku Lanne, 1999. "Near Unit Roots And The Predictive Power Of Yield Spreads For Changes In Long-Term Interest Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 393-398, August.
    38. Qiang Dai & Kenneth J. Singleton, 2000. "Specification Analysis of Affine Term Structure Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 1943-1978, October.
    39. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
    40. Hess, Alan C & Kamara, Avraham, 2005. "Conditional Time-Varying Interest Rate Risk Premium: Evidence from the Treasury Bill Futures Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 679-698, August.
    41. Peter D. Spencer, 2008. "Stochastic Volatility in a Macro-Finance Model of the U.S. Term Structure of Interest Rates 1961-2004," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(6), pages 1177-1215, September.
    42. 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.
    43. Hsu, Chiente & Kugler, Peter, 1997. "The Revival of the Expectations Hypothesis of the US Term Structure of Interest Rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 115-120, August.
    44. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1062-1088, October.
    45. Hardouvelis, Gikas A., 1994. "The term structure spread and future changes in long and short rates in the G7 countries: Is there a puzzle?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 255-283, April.
    46. 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 254-259, April.
    47. Richard Deaves, 1996. "Forecasting Canadian Short-Term Interest Rates," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 615-634, August.
    48. 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.
    49. 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 364-380, August.
    50. 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, February.
    51. Bennett T. McCallum, 2005. "Monetary policy and the term structure of interest rates," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 1-21.
    52. Mc Cracken, Michael W., 2000. "Robust out-of-sample inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 195-223, December.
    53. Ravi Bansal & Hao Zhou, 2002. "Term Structure of Interest Rates with Regime Shifts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 1997-2043, October.
    54. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Elton, Edwin J. & Green, T. Clifton, 2001. "Economic News and Bond Prices: Evidence from the U.S. Treasury Market," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(04), pages 523-543, December.
    55. Wu, Tao, 2006. "Macro Factors and the Affine Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1847-1875, October.
    56. 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.
    57. Lange, Joe & Sack, Brian & Whitesell, William, 2003. " Anticipations of Monetary Policy in Financial Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 889-909, December.
    58. 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.
    59. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Bertola, Giuseppe & Foresi, Silverio, 1997. "A model of target changes and the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-249, July.
    60. Driffill, John & Psaradakis, Zacharias & Sola, Martin, 1997. "A Reconciliation of Some Paradoxical Empirical Results on the Expectations Model of the Term Structure," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(1), pages 29-42, February.
    61. Nelson, Charles R & Siegel, Andrew F, 1987. "Parsimonious Modeling of Yield Curves," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 473-489, October.
    62. Fama, Eugene F & Bliss, Robert R, 1987. "The Information in Long-Maturity Forward Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 680-692, September.
    63. Diebold, Francis X. & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Borag[caron]an Aruoba, S., 2006. "The macroeconomy and the yield curve: a dynamic latent factor approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 309-338.
    64. Darrell Duffie & Rui Kan, 1996. "A Yield-Factor Model Of Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 379-406.
    65. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2007. "Monetary policy inertia and recent Fed actions," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jan26.
    66. 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.
    67. Dai, Qiang & Singleton, Kenneth J., 2002. "Expectation puzzles, time-varying risk premia, and affine models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 415-441, March.
    68. Hamburger, Michael J & Platt, Elliott N, 1975. "The Expectations Hypothesis and the Efficiency of the Treasury Bill Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 190-199, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 202-213.
    2. 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.
    3. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "Greenspan’s conundrum and the Fed’s ability to affect long-term yields," Working Papers 2012-036, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "The Federal Reserve’s response to the financial crisis: what it did and what it should have done," Working Papers 2012-050, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    5. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "Evidence on the portfolio balance channel of quantitative easing," Working Papers 2012-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    6. Peter Tulip & Stephanie Wallace, 2012. "Estimates of Uncertainty around the RBA's Forecasts," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2012-07, Reserve Bank of Australia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rational expectations (Economic theory) ; Interest rates;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2010-013. 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: (Kathy Cosgrove). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbslus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.