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Analyzing interest rate risk: Stochastic volatility in the term structure of government bond yields

  • Hautsch, Nikolaus
  • Ou, Yangguoyi

We propose a Nelson-Siegel type interest rate term structure model where the underlying yield factors follow autoregressive processes with stochastic volatility. The factor volatilities parsimoniously capture risk inherent to the term structure and are associated with the time-varying uncertainty of the yield curve's level, slope and curvature. Estimating the model based on U.S. government bond yields applying Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques we find that the factor volatilities follow highly persistent processes. We show that slope and curvature risk have explanatory power for bond excess returns and illustrate that the yield and volatility factors are closely related to industrial capacity utilization, inflation, monetary policy and employment growth.

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Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2009/03.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200903
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  1. Diebold, Francis X. & Li, Canlin, 2006. "Forecasting the term structure of government bond yields," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 337-364, February.
  2. Nikolaus Hautsch & Fuyu Yang, 2010. "Bayesian Inference in a Stochastic Volatility Nelson-Siegel Model," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-004, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  3. Tao Wu & Glenn Rudebusch, 2004. "A Macro-Finance Model of the Term Structure, Monetary Policy, and the Economy," 2004 Meeting Papers 104, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  8. Heath, David & Jarrow, Robert & Morton, Andrew, 1992. "Bond Pricing and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: A New Methodology for Contingent Claims Valuation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 77-105, January.
  9. 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.
  10. Dai, Qiang & Singleton, Kenneth J., 2002. "Expectation puzzles, time-varying risk premia, and affine models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 415-441, March.
  11. Koopman, Siem Jan & Mallee, Max I. P. & Van der Wel, Michel, 2010. "Analyzing the Term Structure of Interest Rates Using the Dynamic Nelson–Siegel Model With Time-Varying Parameters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(3), pages 329-343.
  12. Diebold, Francis X. & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Borag[caron]an Aruoba, S., 2006. "The macroeconomy and the yield curve: a dynamic latent factor approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 309-338.
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  21. Vasicek, Oldrich Alfonso, 1977. "Abstract: An Equilibrium Characterization of the Term Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 627-627, November.
  22. 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.
  23. Jean-Francois Richard, 2007. "Efficient High-Dimensional Importance Sampling," Working Papers 321, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2007.
  24. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  25. 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.
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