No-Arbitrage Macroeconomic Determinants of the Yield Curve

55 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2005

Date Written: January 2, 2006


We determine which macroeconomic variables other than inflation and real activity drive the yield curve using a no-arbitrage affine term structure models. We construct a model-based dynamic projection of all the latent factors onto the observable macro factors, which are real activity and inflation. As a result, the factors are decomposed into a macro-component consisting of a linear function of inflation, real activity and their lags, and the truly novel part which is orthogonal to the entire history of the macro variables. The macro-component of a four-factor model can explain 80% of the variation in the short rate and 50% of the slope. Furthermore, we are able to explain the remaining part of the short rate and slope with such measures of monetary shocks as the AAA credit spread, the Money Zero Maturity measure of money supply, and public government debt growth as a measure of fiscal shocks. Finally, we decompose the term premia into the contributions of the identified macro sources of risk. Inflation and liquidity risk premia jointly explain 65% to 85% of the variation in the term premia across the yield curve. Inflation and fiscal shocks have the largest contributions to deviations from the expectation hypothesis.

Keywords: Term structure, no-arbitrage affine models, macroeconomics, monetary policy, credit spread, budget deficit

JEL Classification: E43, E44, E52, G12

Suggested Citation

Bikbov, Ruslan and Chernov, Mikhail, No-Arbitrage Macroeconomic Determinants of the Yield Curve (January 2, 2006). AFA 2006 Boston Meetings Paper; EFA 2005 Moscow Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Ruslan Bikbov

Columbia Business School ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Mikhail Chernov (Contact Author)

UCLA Anderson ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

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