The Econometrics of Yield Spreads in the Money Market: A Note
Posted: 31 Jan 2002
The literature on bond markets and interest rates has focused largely on the term structure of interest rates, specifically, on the so-called expectations hypothesis. At the same time, little is known about the nature of the spread of the interest rates in the money market beyond the fact that such spreads are generally unstable. However, with the evolution of complex financial instruments, it has become imperative to identify the time series process that can help one accurately forecast such spreads into the future. This paper explores the nature of the time series process underlying the spread between 3-month and 1-year US rates, and concludes that the movements in this spread over time is best captured by a GARCH(1,1) process. It also suggests the use of a relatively long term measure of interest rate volatility as an explanatory variable. This exercise has gained added importance in view of the revelation that GARCH based estimates of option prices consistently outperform the corresponding estimates based on the stylized Black-Scholes algorithm.
Keywords: Expectations hypothesis, yield spread, money market, conditional heteroskedasticity
JEL Classification: C22, C52, G0
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation