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Forecasting Government Bond Yields with Large Bayesian VARs

  • Andrea Carriero

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • George Kapetanios

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Massimiliano Marcellino

    (European University Institute and Bocconi University)

We propose a new approach to forecasting the term structure of interest rates, which allows to efficiently extract the information contained in a large panel of yields. In particular, we use a large Bayesian Vector Autoregression (BVAR) with an optimal amount of shrinkage towards univariate AR models. Focusing on the U.S., we provide an extensive study on the forecasting performance of our proposed model relative to most of the existing alternative specifications. While most of the existing evidence focuses on statistical measures of forecast accuracy, we also evaluate the performance of the alternative forecasts when used within trading schemes or as a basis for portfolio allocation. We extensively check the robustness of our results via subsample analysis and via a data based Monte Carlo simulation. We find that: i) our proposed BVAR approach produces forecasts systematically more accurate than the random walk forecasts, though the gains are small; ii) some models beat the BVAR for a few selected maturities and forecast horizons, but they perform much worse than the BVAR in the remaining cases; iii) predictive gains with respect to the random walk have decreased over time; iv) different loss functions (i.e., "statistical" vs "economic") lead to different ranking of specific models; v) modelling time variation in term premia is important and useful for forecasting.

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File URL: http://www.econ.qmul.ac.uk/papers/doc/wp662.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 662.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp662
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  1. Bauwens, Luc & Lubrano, Michel & Richard, Jean-Francois, 2000. "Bayesian Inference in Dynamic Econometric Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773139, March.
  2. Carriero, Andrea & Kapetanios, George & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2008. "Forecasting Exchange Rates with a Large Bayesian VAR," CEPR Discussion Papers 7008, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. De Mol, Christine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2006. "Forecasting using a large number of predictors: is Bayesian regression a valid alternative to principal components?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,32, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. 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.
  5. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "Bayesian methods for dynamic multivariate models," Working Paper 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Michiel D. de Pooter & Francesco Ravazzolo & Dick van Dijk, 2007. "Predicting the Term Structure of Interest Rates: Incorporating Parameter Uncertainty, Model Uncertainty and Macroeconomic Information," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-028/4, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Massimiliano Marcellino & James Stock & Mark Watson, 2005. "A Comparison of Direct and Iterated Multistep AR Methods for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," Working Papers 285, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  9. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan G, 2004. "Small Sample Properties of Forecasts From Autoregressive Models Under Structural Breaks," CEPR Discussion Papers 4401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1983. "Forecasting and Conditional Projection Using Realistic Prior Distributions," NBER Working Papers 1202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. de Jong, Frank, 2000. "Time Series and Cross-Section Information in Affine Term-Structure Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(3), pages 300-314, July.
  13. Diebold, Francis X. & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Borag[caron]an Aruoba, S., 2006. "The macroeconomy and the yield curve: a dynamic latent factor approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 309-338.
  14. 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.
  15. Andrea Carriero & Raffaella Giacomini, 2011. "How useful are no-arbitrage restrictions for forecasting the term structure of interest rates?," Post-Print hal-00844809, HAL.
  16. 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.
  17. Mönch, Emanuel, 2005. "Forecasting the yield curve in a data-rich environment: a no-arbitrage factor-augmented VAR approach," Working Paper Series 0544, European Central Bank.
  18. Andrea Carriero & George Kapetanios & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2009. "Forecasting Large Datasets with Bayesian Reduced Rank Multivariate Models," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/31, European University Institute.
  19. Gregory R. Duffee, 2002. "Term Premia and Interest Rate Forecasts in Affine Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 405-443, 02.
  20. Almeida, Caio & Vicente, José, 2008. "The role of no-arbitrage on forecasting: Lessons from a parametric term structure model," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2695-2705, December.
  21. Michiel D. de Pooter & Francesco Ravazzolo & Dick van Dijk, 2007. "Predicting the Term Structure of Interest Rates: Incorporating Parameter Uncertainty, Model Uncertainty and Macroeconomic Information," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-028/4, Tinbergen Institute.
  22. 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.
  23. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2002. "Bond Risk Premia," NBER Working Papers 9178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Darrell Duffie & Rui Kan, 1996. "A Yield-Factor Model Of Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 379-406.
  25. Ho, Mun S & Sorensen, Bent E, 1996. "Finding Cointegration Rank in High Dimensional Systems Using the Johansen Test: An Illustration Using Data Based Monte Carlo Simulations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 726-32, November.
  26. 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.
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