Do Interest Rate Options Contain Information About Excess Returns?
35 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2018
Date Written: October 18, 2010
There is strong empirical evidence that long-term interest rates contain a time-varying risk premium. Options may contain valuable information about this risk premium because their prices are sensitive to the underlying interest rates. We use the joint time-series of swap rates and interest rate option prices to estimate dynamic term structure models. The risk premiums that we estimate using option prices are better able to predict excess returns for long-term swaps over short-term swaps. Moreover, in contrast to previous literature, the most successful models for predicting excess returns have risk factors with stochastic volatility. We also show that the stochastic volatility models we estimate using option prices match the failure of the expectations hypothesis.
Keywords: interest rates, options, risk premia, excess returns, forecasting
JEL Classification: C53, C58, E43, E47, G12
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