Journal Of The Econometric Society

An International Society for the Advancement of Economic
Theory in its Relation to Statistics and Mathematics

Edited by: Guido W. Imbens • Print ISSN: 0012-9682 • Online ISSN: 1468-0262

Econometrica: Jan, 2022, Volume 90, Issue 1

On the Factor Structure of Bond Returns
p. 295-314

Richard K. Crump, Nikolay Gospodinov

We demonstrate that characterizing the minimal dimension of the term structure of interest rates is more challenging than currently appreciated. The highly structured polynomial patterns of the factor loadings, which are widely reported and discussed in the literature, reflect local correlations of smooth curves across maturities. We derive analytical expressions for the loadings of cross‐sectionally dependent processes that tend to favor a much lower dimension than the true dimension of the underlying factor space. Numerical examples illustrate the significant economic costs of erroneously committing to a parsimoniously parameterized factor space that is informed by standard metrics of goodness‐of‐fit. Our results apply to other assets with a finite maturity structure.

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Supplement to "On the Factor Structure of Bond Returns"

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Supplement to "On the Factor Structure of Bond Returns"

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