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Forecasting the Yield Curve Using Priors from No Arbitrage Affine Term Structure Models

In this paper we propose a strategy for forecasting the term structure of interest rates which may produce significant gains in predictive accuracy. The key idea is to use the restrictions implied by Affine Term Structure Models (ATSM) on a vector autoregression (VAR) as prior information rather than imposing them dogmatically. This allows to account for possible model misspecification. We apply the method to a system of five US yields, and we find that the gains in predictive accuracy can be substantial. In particular, for horizons longer than 1-step ahead, our proposed method produces systematically better forecasts than those obtained by using a pure ATSM or an unrestricted VAR, and it also outperforms very competitive benchmarks as the Minnesota prior, the Diebold-Li (2006) model, and the random walk.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 612.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp612
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  1. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "Bayesian methods for dynamic multivariate models," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Darrell Duffie & Rui Kan, 1996. "A Yield-Factor Model Of Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 379-406.
  3. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Priors from General Equilibrium Models for VARS," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 643-673, 05.
  4. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Policy Predictions if the Model Does Not Fit," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 434-443, 04/05.
  5. Diebold, Francis X. & Piazzesi, Monica & Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2005. "Modeling bond yields in finance and macroeconomics," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/03, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. Ang, Andrew & Piazzesi, Monika, 2003. "A no-arbitrage vector autoregression of term structure dynamics with macroeconomic and latent variables," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 745-787, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Diebold, Francis X. & Li, Canlin, 2003. "Forecasting the term structure of government bond yields," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  9. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Monetary policy analysis with potentially misspecified models," Working Papers 06-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. 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.
  11. Nelson, Charles R & Siegel, Andrew F, 1987. "Parsimonious Modeling of Yield Curves," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 473-89, October.
  12. Andrew Ang & Monika Piazzesi & Min Wei, 2004. "What Does the Yield Curve Tell us about GDP Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
  14. Kadiyala, K Rao & Karlsson, Sune, 1997. "Numerical Methods for Estimation and Inference in Bayesian VAR-Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 99-132, March-Apr.
  15. 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.
  16. Carlo A. Favero & Linlin Niu & Luca Sala, 2007. "Term Structure Forecasting: No-arbitrage Restrictions vs. Large Information Set," Working Papers 318, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  17. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  18. Vasicek, Oldrich Alfonso, 1977. "Abstract: An Equilibrium Characterization of the Term Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 627-627, November.
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