City Research Online

The Economic Value of Predicting Bond Risk Premia

Sarno, L., Schneider, P. & Wagner, C. (2016). The Economic Value of Predicting Bond Risk Premia. Journal of Empirical Finance, 37, pp. 247-267. doi: 10.1016/j.jempfin.2016.02.001


This paper studies whether the evident statistical predictability of bond risk premia translates into economic gains for investors. We propose a novel estimation strategy for affine term structure models that jointly fits yields and bond excess returns, thereby capturing predictive information otherwise hidden to standard estimations. The model predicts excess returns with high regressions R2s and high forecast accuracy but cannot outperform the expectations hypothesis out-of-sample in terms of economic value, showing a general contrast between statistical and economic metrics of forecast evaluation. More specifically, the model mostly generates positive (negative) economic value during times of high (low) macroeconomic uncertainty. Overall, the expectation hypothesis remains a useful benchmark for investment decisions in bond markets, especially in low uncertainty states.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: term structure of interest rates; expectations hypothesis; affine models; risk premia; statistical predictability; economic value
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Bayes Business School > Finance
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

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