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Adjusted Forward Rates as Predictors of Future Spot Rates

Prior studies indicate that the predictive power of implied forward rates for future spot rates is weak over long sample periods and typically varies dramatically across different subperiods. Fama (1976, 1984) conjectures that the low forecast power is due to a failure to control for the term premium embedded in forward rates. We show that Fama's conjecture is consistent with the data using any of four different models of the term premium. We measure the term premium using a variety of ex ante instruments, including the junk bond premium, bid-ask spreads in Treasury bills, the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index's dividend yield and the conditional volatility of interest rate changes using an Autoregressive Conditionally Heteroscedastic (ARCH) process. Forward rates adjusted for the term premium are reliable predictors of future spot rates over the entire 1963-1993 period.

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Paper provided by Ohio State University in its series Research in Financial Economics with number 9605.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:ohsrfe:9605
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  1. Engle, Robert F & Lilien, David M & Robins, Russell P, 1987. "Estimating Time Varying Risk Premia in the Term Structure: The Arch-M Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 391-407, March.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1985. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 1669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 495-514, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick & David A. Marshall, 1997. ""Peso Problem" Explanations for Term Structure Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 6147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1992. " Interest Rate Volatility and the Term Structure: A Two-Factor General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1259-82, September.
  7. Chan, K C, et al, 1992. " An Empirical Comparison of Alternative Models of the Short-Term Interest Rate," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1209-27, July.
  8. Avraham Kamara, 1988. "Market Trading Structures and Asset Pricing: Evidence from the Treasury- Bill Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(4), pages 357-375.
  9. Richard Startz, . "Do Forecast Errors or Term Premia Really Make the Difference Between Long and Short Rates?," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 08-81, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  10. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "A Re-examination of Traditional Hypotheses about the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 769-99, September.
  11. Fama, Eugene F., 1990. "Term-structure forecasts of interest rates, inflation and real returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-76, January.
  12. Mishkin, F.S., 1988. "The Information In The Term Structure: Some Further Results," Papers fb-_88-26, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  13. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J. & Marshall, David A., 1997. "On biases in tests of the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 309-348, June.
  14. Fama, Eugene F & Bliss, Robert R, 1987. "The Information in Long-Maturity Forward Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 680-92, September.
  15. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
  16. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
  17. Copeland, Thomas E & Galai, Dan, 1983. " Information Effects on the Bid-Ask Spread," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1457-69, December.
  18. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "The information in the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 509-528, December.
  19. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
  20. Chen, Nai-Fu & Roll, Richard & Ross, Stephen A, 1986. "Economic Forces and the Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 383-403, July.
  21. Engle, Robert F. & Ng, Victor K. & Rothschild, Michael, 1990. "Asset pricing with a factor-arch covariance structure : Empirical estimates for treasury bills," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 213-237.
  22. Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1988. " The Predictive Power of the Term Structure during Recent Monetary Regimes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(2), pages 339-56, June.
  23. Fama, Eugene F., 1976. "Forward rates as predictors of future spot rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 361-377, October.
  24. Hasbrouck, Joel, 1988. "Trades, quotes, inventories, and information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 229-252, December.
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