Essays on the term structure of interest rates

Cao, Shuo (2016) Essays on the term structure of interest rates. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.


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This PhD thesis contains three main chapters on macro finance, with a focus on the term structure of interest rates and the applications of state-of-the-art Bayesian econometrics. Except for Chapter 1 and Chapter 5, which set out the general introduction and conclusion, each of the chapters can be considered as a standalone piece of work.

In Chapter 2, we model and predict the term structure of US interest rates in a data rich environment. We allow the model dimension and parameters to change over time, accounting for model uncertainty and sudden structural changes. The proposed timevarying parameter Nelson-Siegel Dynamic Model Averaging (DMA) predicts yields better than standard benchmarks. DMA performs better since it incorporates more macro-finance information during recessions. The proposed method allows us to estimate plausible realtime term premia, whose countercyclicality weakened during the financial crisis.

Chapter 3 investigates global term structure dynamics using a Bayesian hierarchical factor model augmented with macroeconomic fundamentals. More than half of the variation in the bond yields of seven advanced economies is due to global co-movement. Our results suggest that global inflation is the most important factor among global macro fundamentals. Non-fundamental factors are essential in driving global co-movements, and are closely related to sentiment and economic uncertainty. Lastly, we analyze asymmetric spillovers in global bond markets connected to diverging monetary policies.

Chapter 4 proposes a no-arbitrage framework of term structure modeling with learning and model uncertainty. The representative agent considers parameter instability, as well as the uncertainty in learning speed and model restrictions. The empirical evidence shows that apart from observational variance, parameter instability is the dominant source of predictive variance when compared with uncertainty in learning speed or model restrictions. When accounting for ambiguity aversion, the out-of-sample predictability of excess returns implied by the learning model can be translated into significant and consistent economic gains over the Expectations Hypothesis benchmark.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Term structure of interest rates, Nelson-Siegel, dynamic model averaging, Bayesian methods, term premia, global bond markets, global shocks, co-movement, contagion, sentiment, economic uncertainty, affine term structure models, learning, parameter uncertainty, model uncertainty, ambiguity aversion.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School
Supervisor's Name: Korobilis, Dr. Dimitris
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Shuo Cao
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7324
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2016 13:50
Last Modified: 26 May 2016 07:58

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