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Estimating Term Structure Equations Using Macroeconomic Variables


  • Ray Fair


This paper begins with the expectations theory of the term structure of interest rates with constant term premia and then postulates how expectations of future short term interest rates are formed. Expectations depend in part on predictions from a set of VAR equations and in part on the current and two lagged values of the short term interest rate. The results suggest that there is relevant independent information in both the VAR equations' predictions and the current and two lagged values of the short rate. The model fits the long term interest rate data well, including the 2004-2006 period, which some have found a puzzle. The properties of the model are consistent with the response of the long term U.S. Treasury bond rate to surprise price and employment announcements. The overall results suggest that long term rates can be fairly well explained by modeling expectation formation of future short term rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Ray Fair, 2008. "Estimating Term Structure Equations Using Macroeconomic Variables," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2387, Yale School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:amz2387

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fair, Ray C & Taylor, John B, 1990. "Full Information Estimation and Stochastic Simulation of Models with Rational Expectations," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 381-392, Oct.-Dec..
    2. Hans Dewachter & Marco Lyrio, 2008. "Learning, Macroeconomic Dynamics and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Chapters,in: Asset Prices and Monetary Policy, pages 191-245 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 495-514.
    4. Sargent, Thomas J., 1979. "A note on maximum likelihood estimation of the rational expectations model of the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 133-143, January.
    5. Robert G. King & André Kurmann, 2002. "Expectations and the term structure of interest rates : evidence and implications," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 49-95.
    6. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Shifting endpoints in the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 613-652, June.
    7. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Macroeconomic implications of changes in the term premium," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 241-270.
    8. Parke, William R, 1982. "An Algorithm for FIML and 3SLS Estimation of Large Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 81-95, January.
    9. Modigliani, Franco & Shiller, Robert J, 1973. "Inflation, Rational Expectations and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(157), pages 12-43, February.
    10. Shiller, Robert J, 1973. "Rational Expectations and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 5(3), pages 856-860, August.
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