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The Central Tendency: A Second Factor in Bond Yields

  • Pierluigi Balduzzi
  • Sanjiv Ranjan Das
  • Silverio Foresi

We assume that the instantaneous riskless rate reverts towards a central tendency which in turn, is changing stochastically over time. As a result, current short-term rates are not" sufficient to predict future short-term rates movements, as would be the case if the central" tendency was constant. However, since longer-maturity bond prices incorporate information" about the central tendency, longer-maturity bond yields can be used to predict future short-term" rate movements. We develop a two-factor model of the term-structure which implies that a" linear combination of any two rates can be used as a proxy for the central tendency. Based on" this central-tendency proxy, we estimate a model of the one-month rate which performs better" than models which assume the central tendency to be constant.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6325.

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Date of creation: Dec 1997
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Publication status: published as Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 80, no. 1 (February 1998): 62-72.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6325
Note: AP
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  1. Fama, Eugene F & Bliss, Robert R, 1987. "The Information in Long-Maturity Forward Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 680-92, September.
  2. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  3. 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.
  4. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 785, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Pearson, Neil D & Sun, Tong-Sheng, 1994. " Exploiting the Conditional Density in Estimating the Term Structure: An Application to the Cox, Ingersoll, and Ross Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1279-1304, September.
  6. Chan, K C, et al, 1992. " An Empirical Comparison of Alternative Models of the Short-Term Interest Rate," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1209-27, July.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 61-110.
  8. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1992. " Interest Rate Volatility and the Term Structure: A Two-Factor General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1259-82, September.
  9. Brennan, Michael J. & Schwartz, Eduardo S., 1979. "A continuous time approach to the pricing of bonds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 133-155, July.
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