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Understanding bond risk premia

Author

Listed:
  • Pavol Povala

    (University of Lugano)

  • Anna Cieslak

    (Northwestern University)

Abstract

We decompose yields into long-horizon expected inflation and maturity-related cycles to study the predictability of bond excess returns. Cycles capture the risk premium and the business cycle variation of short rate expectations. From cycles, we construct a forecasting factor that explains up to above 50% (30%) of in-sample (out-of-sample) variation of annual bond returns. The factor varies at a frequency higher than the business cycle, and predicts real activity at long horizons. It also aggregates information from different macro-finance predictors of bond returns. Our decomposition reveals why bond returns are predictable by a linear combination of forward rates or the term spread.

Suggested Citation

  • Pavol Povala & Anna Cieslak, 2012. "Understanding bond risk premia," 2012 Meeting Papers 771, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:771
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    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_771.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jardet, Caroline & Monfort, Alain & Pegoraro, Fulvio, 2013. "No-arbitrage Near-Cointegrated VAR(p) term structure models, term premia and GDP growth," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 389-402.
    2. Ilan Cooper, 2009. "Time-Varying Risk Premiums and the Output Gap," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(7), pages 2601-2633, July.
    3. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2001. "Tests of equal forecast accuracy and encompassing for nested models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 85-110, November.
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    5. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
    6. Carceles-Poveda, Eva & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2007. "Adaptive learning in practice," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2659-2697, August.
    7. Dewachter, Hans & Iania, Leonardo, 2012. "An Extended Macro-Finance Model with Financial Factors," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(06), pages 1893-1916, February.
    8. Ivo Welch & Amit Goyal, 2008. "A Comprehensive Look at The Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1455-1508, July.
    9. William J. Crowder & Mark E. Wohar, 1999. "Are Tax Effects Important in the Long-Run Fisher Relationship? Evidence from the Municipal Bond Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 307-317, February.
    10. John A. Carlson, 1977. "A Study of Price Forecasts," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 6, number 1, pages 27-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2017. "Resolving the Spanning Puzzle in Macro-Finance Term Structure Models," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(2), pages 511-553.

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