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The Term Structure of Interest Rates: Evidence and Theory

  • Angelo Melino

The term structure of interest rates is an old topic. Over the years, both the hypotheses debated and the research techniques used have changed considerably. Two fairly recent developments which distinguish current research are the widespread adoption of rational expectations and the integration of the term structure with the general theory of asset pricing. This survey reviews previous work from this perspective. The main objective is to catalog available evidence about term premia and to interpret this evidence in light of alternative models of term premia determination.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1828.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1828.

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Date of creation: Feb 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Surveys, vol 2, no. 4, pp 335-366. (1988)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1828
Note: ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Chamberlain, Gary & Rothschild, Michael, 1982. "Arbitrage, Factor Structure, and Mean-Variance Analysis on Large Asset Markets," Scholarly Articles 3230355, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Grossman, S J & Melino, Angelo & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Estimating the Continuous-Time Consumption-Based Asset-Pricing Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(3), pages 315-27, July.
  4. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1978. "Efficient-Markets Theory: Implications for Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(3), pages 707-752.
  5. 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.
  6. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
  7. Dobson, Steven W & Sutch, Richard C & Vanderford, David E, 1976. "An Evaluation of Alternative Empirical Models of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1035-65, September.
  8. Startz, Richard, 1982. "Do forecast errors or term premia really make the difference between long and short rates?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 323-329, November.
  9. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1983. "Excess Volatility in the Financial Markets: A Reassessment of the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 929-56, December.
  10. L. G. Telser, 1967. "A Critique of Some Recent Empirical Research on the Explanation of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 546.
  11. Modigliani, Franco & Shiller, Robert J, 1973. "Inflation, Rational Expectations and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(157), pages 12-43, February.
  12. McCallum, John S, 1975. "The Expected Holding Period Return, Uncertainty and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 307-23, May.
  13. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  14. Shea, Gary S., 1984. "Pitfalls in Smoothing Interest Rate Term Structure Data: Equilibrium Models and Spline Approximations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(03), pages 253-269, September.
  15. 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 769-99, September.
  16. Michael Rothschild, 1985. "Asset Pricing Theories," NBER Technical Working Papers 0044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1970. "A Consumption-Oriented Theory of the Demand for Financial Assets and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 321-51, July.
  18. Franco Modigliani & Richard Sutch, 1967. "Debt Management and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: An Empirical Analysis of Recent Experience," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 569.
  19. Friedman, Benjamin M, 1979. "Interest Rate Expectations versus Forward Rates: Evidence from an Expectations Survey," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(4), pages 965-73, September.
  20. Chen, Nai-fu, 1983. " Some Empirical Tests of the Theory of Arbitrage Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1393-1414, December.
  21. Roll, Richard, 1977. "A critique of the asset pricing theory's tests Part I: On past and potential testability of the theory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 129-176, March.
  22. James E. Pesando, 1979. "On Forecasting Interest Rates: An Efficient Markets Perspective," NBER Working Papers 0410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  24. 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.
  25. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, 09.
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