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Affine Macroeconomic Models of the Term Structure of Interest Rates: The US Treasury Market 1961-99

  • Peter Spencer

This paper develops a macroeconomic model of the yield curve and uses this to explain the behaviour of the US Treasury market. Unlike previous macro-finance models which assume a homoscedastic error process, I develop a general affine model which allows volatility to be conditioned by interest rates and other macroeconomic variables. Despite the extensive use of stochastic volatility models in mainstream finance papers and the overwhelming evidence of heteroscedasticity in macroeconomic and asset price data this is the first macro-finance model of the bond market with this feature. My preferred empirical specification uses a single conditioning factor and is thus the macro-finance analogue of the EA1 (N) specification of the mainstream finance literature. This model performs well in encompassing tests that lead to a decisive rejection of the standard EA0(N) macro-finance specification. The resulting specification provides a flexible 10-factor explanation of the behaviour of the US yield curve, keying it in to the behaviour of the macroeconomy.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 04/16.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision: Jan 2006
Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:04/16
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  1. Federico M. Bandi & Peter C.B. Phillips, 2001. "Fully Nonparametric Estimation of Scalar Diffusion Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1332, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," Seminar Papers 646, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  4. Hans Dewachter & Marco Lyrio, 2003. "Macro Factors and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0304, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
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  6. Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-72, June.
  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. Ball, Laurence, 1992. "Why does high inflation raise inflation uncertainty?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 371-388, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Glenn Rudebusch, 2000. "Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0065, Econometric Society.
  11. Frank F. Gong & Eli M. Remolona, 1996. "Two factors along the yield curve," Research Paper 9613, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Tao Wu, 2003. "A macro-finance model of the term structure, monetary policy, and the economy," Working Paper Series 2003-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Peter N Smith & Michael R Wickens, . "Asset Pricing with Observable Stochastic Discount Factors," Discussion Papers 02/03, Department of Economics, University of York.
  14. Andrew Ang & Monika Piazzesi, 2001. "A No-Arbitrage Vector Autoregression of Term Structure Dynamics with Macroeconomic and Latent Variables," NBER Working Papers 8363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jiang, George J. & Knight, John L., 1997. "A Nonparametric Approach to the Estimation of Diffusion Processes, With an Application to a Short-Term Interest Rate Model," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(05), pages 615-645, October.
  16. Conley, Timothy G, et al, 1997. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Subordinated Diffusions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 525-77.
  17. 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.
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