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A Defense of Traditional Hypotheses About the Term Structure of InterestRates

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  • John Y. Campbell

Abstract

Expectations theories of asset returns may be interpreted as stating either that risk premia are zero, or that they are constant through time. Under the former interpretation, different versions of the expectations theory of the term structure are inconsistent with one another, but I show that this does not necessarily carry over to the constant risk premium interpretation of the theory. Furthermore, I argue that differences among expectations theories are of 'second order" in a precise mathematical sense. I present an approximate linearized framework for analysis of the term structure in which these differences disappear, and I test its accuracy in practice using data from the CRSP government bond tapes.

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  • John Y. Campbell, 1984. "A Defense of Traditional Hypotheses About the Term Structure of InterestRates," NBER Working Papers 1508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1508
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    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "Do Long-Term Interest Rates Overreact to Short-Term Interest Rates?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(1), pages 223-248.
    2. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "A Re-examination of Traditional Hypotheses about the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 769-799, September.
    3. McCulloch, J Huston, 1971. "Measuring the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 19-31, January.
    4. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1984. "A Simple Account of the Behavior of Long-Term Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 44-48, May.
    5. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
    6. 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.
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