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Massimo Guidolin

23 December 2008
Despite its important role in monetary policy and finance, the expectations hypothesis (EH) of the term structure of interest rates has received virtually no empirical support. The empirical failure of the EH was attributed to a variety of econometric biases associated with the single-equation models used to test it; however, none account for it. This paper analyses the EH by focusing on its fundamental tenet - the predictability of the short-term rate. This is done by comparing h-month ahead forecasts for the 1- and 3-month Treasury yields implied by the EH with the forecasts from random-walk, Diebold and Lei (2006), and Duffee (2002) models. The evidence suggests that the failure of the EH is likely a consequence of market participants' inability to predict the short-term rate.
JEL Code
E40 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→General
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
ECB workshop on the analysis of the money market