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[Vol.26 No.1] Estimation of the Korean Yield Curve via Bayesian Variable Selection

Group : Finance·Bank
Economic Research Institute (02-759-5490) 2020.03.31 1462

Authour : Byungsoo Koo(Bank of Korea)


A central bank infers market expectations of future yields based on yield curves. The central bank needs to precisely understand the changes in market expectations of future yields in order to have a more effective monetary policy. This need explains why a range of models have attempted to produce yield curves and market expectations that are as accurate as possible. Alongside the development of bond markets, the interconnectedness between them and macroeconomic factors has deepened, and this has rendered understanding of what macroeconomic variables affect yield curves even more important. However, the existence of various theories about determinants of yields inevitably means that previous studies have applied different macroeconomics variables when estimating yield curves. This indicates model uncertainties and naturally poses a question: Which model better estimates yield curves? Put differently, which variables should be applied to better estimate yield curves? This study employs the Dynamic Nelson-Siegel Model and takes the Bayesian approach to variable selection in order to ensure precision in estimating yield curves and market expectations of future yields. Bayesian variable selection may be an effective estimation method because it is expected to alleviate problems arising from a priori selection of the key variables comprising a model, and because it is a comprehensive approach that efficiently reflects model uncertainties in estimations. A comparison of Bayesian variable selection with the models of previous studies finds that the question of which macroeconomic variables are applied to a model has considerable impact on market expectations of future yields. This shows that model uncertainties exert great influence on the resultant estimates, and that it is reasonable to reflect model uncertainties in the estimation. Those implications are underscored by the superior forecasting performance of Bayesian variable selection models over those models used in previous studies. Therefore, the use of a Bayesian variable selection model is advisable in estimating yield curves and market expectations of yield curves with greater exactitude in consideration of the impact of model uncertainties on the estimation..