Macro Risks and the Term Structure of Interest Rates
67 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2016 Last revised: 13 May 2018
Date Written: May 9, 2018
We use non-Gaussian features in U.S. macroeconomic data to identify aggregate supply and demand shocks while imposing minimal economic assumptions. Recessions in the 1970s and 1980s were driven primarily by supply shocks; later recessions by demand shocks. We estimate macro risk factors that drive "bad" (negatively skewed) and "good" (positively skewed) variation for supply and demand shocks. We document that macro risks significantly contribute to the variation of yields, risk premiums and return variances for nominal bonds. While overall bond risk premiums are counter-cyclical, an increase in aggregate demand variance significantly lowers risk premiums.
Keywords: macroeconomic volatility, bond markets, bond return predictability, term premium, macro risks, Great Moderation
JEL Classification: E31, E32, E43, E44, G12, G13
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