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Speculation, risk premia and expectations in the yield curve

  • Francisco Barillas
  • Kristoffer Nimark

An affine asset pricing model in which agents have rational but heterogeneous expectations about future asset prices is developed. We estimate the model using data on bond yields and individual survey responses from the Survey of Professional Forecasters and perform a novel three-way decomposition of bond yields into (i) average expectations about short rates (ii) risk premia and (iii) a speculative component due to heterogeneous expectations about the resale value of a bond. We prove that the speculative term must be orthogonal to public information in real time and therefore statistically distinct from risk premia. Empirically, the speculative component is quantitatively important, accounting for up to one percentage point of US yields. Furthermore, estimates of historical risk premia from the heterogeneous information model are less volatile than, and negatively correlated with, risk premia estimated using a standard Affine Gaussian Term Structure model.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/1337.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1337.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision: Nov 2013
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1337
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Admati, Anat R, 1985. "A Noisy Rational Expectations Equilibrium for Multi-asset Securities Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 629-57, May.
  2. Kristoffer Nimark, 2007. "Dynamic higher order expectations," Economics Working Papers 1118, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2011.
  3. Bacchetta, Philippe & Mertens, Elmar & van Wincoop, Eric, 2006. "Predictability in Financial Markets: What Do Survey Expectations Tell Us?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Andrea Buraschi & Alexei Jiltsov, 2006. "Model Uncertainty and Option Markets with Heterogeneous Beliefs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2841-2897, December.
  5. Kristoffer Nimark, 2012. "Speculative Dynamics in the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Working Papers 430, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Albert Lee Chun, 2005. "Expectations, Bond Yields and Monetary Policy," Finance 0512006, EconWPA.
  7. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
  8. J. Michael Harrison & David M. Kreps, 1978. "Speculative Investor Behavior in a Stock Market with Heterogeneous Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 323-336.
  9. Wei Xiong & Hongjun Yan, 2006. "Heterogeneous Expectations and Bond Markets," NBER Working Papers 12781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2012. "Identification and Estimation of Gaussian Affine Term Structure Models," NBER Working Papers 17772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. J. Durbin, 2002. "A simple and efficient simulation smoother for state space time series analysis," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 89(3), pages 603-616, August.
  12. Townsend, Robert M, 1983. "Forecasting the Forecasts of Others," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 546-88, August.
  13. Diamond, Douglas W. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 1981. "Information aggregation in a noisy rational expectations economy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 221-235, September.
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