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Level, Slope, Curvature: Characterising the Yield Curve in a Cointegrated VAR Model

  • Giese, Julia V.

Empirical evidence on the expectations hypothesis of the term structure is in-conclusive and its validity widely debated. Using a cointegrated VAR model of US treasury yields, this paper extends a common approach to test the theory. If, as we find, spreads between two yields are non-stationary, the expectations hypothesis fails. However, we present evidence that differences between two spreads are stationary. This suggests that the curvature of the yield curve may be a more meaningful indicator of expected future interest rates than the slope. Furthermore, we characterise level and slope by deriving the common trends inherent in the cointegrated VAR, and establish feedback patterns between them and the macroeconomy.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2008-13.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:7214
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  1. Gonzalo, Jesus, 1994. "Five alternative methods of estimating long-run equilibrium relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 203-233.
  2. 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.
  3. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 785, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Hans Dewachter, 2004. "Macro factors and the term structure of interest rates," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 25, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  5. Carstensen, Kai, 2003. "Nonstationary term premia and cointegration of the term structure," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 409-413, September.
  6. Hall, Anthony D & Anderson, Heather M & Granger, Clive W J, 1992. "A Cointegration Analysis of Treasury Bill Yields," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 116-26, February.
  7. Bent Nielsen, 2001. "Order determination in general vector autoregressions," Economics Papers 2001-W10, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. 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.
  9. Knez, Peter J & Litterman, Robert & Scheinkman, Jose Alexandre, 1994. " Explorations into Factors Explaining Money Market Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1861-82, December.
  10. Nelson, Charles R & Siegel, Andrew F, 1987. "Parsimonious Modeling of Yield Curves," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 473-89, October.
  11. Henrik Hansen & Søren Johansen, 1999. "Some tests for parameter constancy in cointegrated VAR-models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 306-333.
  12. Shea, Gary S, 1992. "Benchmarking the Expectations Hypothesis of the Interest-Rate Term Structure: An Analysis of Cointegration Vectors," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 347-66, July.
  13. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  14. Wu, Tao, 2006. "Macro Factors and the Affine Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1847-1875, October.
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