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A Bayesian Framework for the Expectations Hypothesis. How to Extract Additional Information from the Term Structure of Interest Rates

Even if there is a fairly large evidence against the Expectations Hypothesis (EH) of the term structure of interest rates, there still seems to be an element of truth in the theory which may be exploited for forecasting and simulation. This paper formalizes this idea by proposing a way to use the EH without imposing it dogmatically. It does so by using a Bayesian framework such that the extent to which the EH is imposed on the data is under the control of the researcher. This allows to study a continuum of models ranging from one in which the EH holds exactly to one in which it does not hold at all. In between these two extremes, the EH features transitory deviations which may be explained by time varying (but stationary) term premia and errors in expectations. Once cast in this framework, the EH holds on average (i.e. after integrating out the effect of the transitory deviations) and can be safely and effectively used for forecasting and simulation.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 591.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp591
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  1. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, . "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _124, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
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  3. 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.
  4. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
  5. Carriero, Andrea & Favero, Carlo A. & Kaminska, Iryna, 2004. "Financial Factors, Macroeconomic Information and the Expectations Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 4301, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Geert Bekaert, 2001. "Expectations Hypotheses Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1357-1394, 08.
  7. Soderlind, Paul & Svensson, Lars, 1997. "New techniques to extract market expectations from financial instruments," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 383-429, October.
  8. 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 1062-88, October.
  9. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1996. "Do measures of monetary policy in a VAR make sense?," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1713, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1988. "The Information in the Term Structure: Some Further Results," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(4), pages 307-14, October-D.
  12. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Forecasting and conditional projection using realistic prior distribution," Staff Report 93, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Backus, David & Foresi, Silverio & Mozumdar, Abon & Wu, Liuren, 2001. "Predictable changes in yields and forward rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 281-311, March.
  14. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense? A Reply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 943-48, November.
  15. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  16. Taylor, Mark P. & Allen, Helen, 1992. "The use of technical analysis in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 304-314, June.
  17. Lewis, Karen K, 1989. "Changing Beliefs and Systematic Rational Forecast Errors with Evidence from Foreign Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 621-36, September.
  18. Ingram, Beth F. & Whiteman, Charles H., 1994. "Supplanting the 'Minnesota' prior: Forecasting macroeconomic time series using real business cycle model priors," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 497-510, December.
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