This paper explores the implications of filtering and no-arbitrage for the maximum likelihood estimates of the entire conditional distribution of the risk factors and bond yields in Gaussian macro-finance term structure model (MTSM) when all yields are priced imperfectly. For typical yield curves and macro-variables studied in this literature, the estimated joint distribution within a canonical MTSM is nearly identical to the estimate from an economic-model-free factor vector-autoregression (factor-VAR), even when measurement errors are large. It follows that a canonical MTSM offers no new insights into economic questions regarding the historical distribution of the macro risk factors and yields, over and above what is learned from a factor-VAR. These results are rotation-invariant and, therefore, apply to many of the specifications in the literature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics
- Strategy and Management