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Some Lessons from the Yield Curve

  • John Y. Campbell

This paper reviews the literature on the relation between short- and long-term interest rates. It summarizes the mixed evidence on the expectations hypothesis of the term structure: when long rates are high relative to short rates, short rates tend to rise as implied by the expectations hypothesis, but long rates tend to fall which is contrary to the expectations hypothesis. The paper discusses the response of the U.S. bond market to shifts in monetary policy in the spring of 1994, and reviews the debate over the optimal maturity structure of the U.S. government debt.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5031.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5031.

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Date of creation: Feb 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 9, no. 3, 1995, pp. 129-152
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5031
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  1. Ammer, John & Campbell, John, 1993. "What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," Scholarly Articles 3382857, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 667, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1990. "What does the term structure tell us about future inflation?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 77-95, January.
  4. Angelo Melino, 1986. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates: Evidence and Theory," NBER Working Papers 1828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1988. "The information in forward rates : Implications for models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 41-70, May.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Keith Sill, 1994. "Managing the public debt," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jul, pages 3-13.
  10. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  11. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  12. F. A. Lutz, 1940. "The Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 36-63.
  13. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  14. 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.
  15. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  16. 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.
  17. Hicks, J. R., 1975. "Value and Capital: An Inquiry into some Fundamental Principles of Economic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198282693, December.
  18. Alessandro Missale & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1991. "The Debt Burden and Debt Maturity," NBER Working Papers 3944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Donald B. Keim & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Predicting Returns in the Stock and Bond Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  20. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "A positive theory of foreign currency debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 273-292, November.
  21. Estrella, Arturo & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1991. " The Term Structure as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 555-76, June.
  22. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  23. Brown, Roger H. & Schaefer, Stephen M., 1994. "The term structure of real interest rates and the Cox, Ingersoll, and Ross model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 3-42, February.
  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. 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.
  26. Robert J. Shiller & J. Huston McCulloch, 1987. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 2341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Kane, Edward J, 1970. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates: An Attempt to Reconcile Teaching with Practice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 361-74, May.
  28. 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.
  29. Fama, Eugene F., 1990. "Term-structure forecasts of interest rates, inflation and real returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-76, January.
  30. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1990. "The Information in the Longer Maturity Term Structure about Future Inflation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 815-828.
  31. McCulloch, J Huston, 1975. "The Tax-Adjusted Yield Curve," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 811-30, June.
  32. 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.
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