Under- and Overreaction in Yield Curve Expectations
96 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2019 Last revised: 6 Oct 2021
Date Written: October 5, 2021
I document a robust pattern in how Treasury market participants' yield curve expectations respond to new information: forecasts for short-term rates underreact to news while forecasts for long-term rates overreact. I propose a new explanation of this based on ``autocorrelation averaging,'' whereby, due to limited processing capacity, forecasters' estimate of the autocorrelation of a given process is biased toward the average autocorrelation of all related processes. Consistent with this view, forecasters overestimate the autocorrelation of the less persistent term-premium component of interest rates and underestimate the autocorrelation of the more persistent short-rate component; a calibrated model quantitatively matches the documented pattern of misreaction. Moreover, banks' allocations to Treasuries vary positively with their expectations of bond returns and misreaction proxies can strongly predict future short- and long-term bond returns, respectively.
Keywords: expectations formation, yield curve, autocorrelation averaging, bond return predictability
JEL Classification: D83, E43, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation