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Speculative dynamics in the term structure of interest rates
Nimark, Kristoffer
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
When long maturity bonds are traded frequently and traders have non-nestedinformation sets, speculative behavior in the sense of Harrison and Kreps (1978) arises.Using a term structure model displaying such speculative behavior, this paper proposesa conceptually and observationally distinct new mechanism generating time varying predictableexcess returns. It is demonstrated that (i) dispersion of expectations about futureshort rates is sufficient for individual traders to systematically predict excess returns and(ii) the new term structure dynamics driven by speculative trade is orthogonal to publicinformation in real time, but (iii) can nevertheless be quantified using only publicly availableyield data. The model is estimated using monthly data on US short to medium termTreasuries from 1964 to 2007 and it provides a good fit of the data. Speculative dynamicsare found to be quantitatively important, potentially accounting for a substantial fractionof the variation of bond yields and appears to be more important at long maturities.
Macroeconomics and International Economics
term structure of interest rates; speculative dynamics; excess returns; nonnested information; private information.
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