Learning From Disagreement in the U.S. Treasury Bond Market

Learning From Disagreement in the U.S. Treasury Bond Market

By
Marco Giacoletti, Kristoffer T. Laursen, Kenneth J. Singleton
Journal of Finance. July
2020

We study risk premiums in the U.S. Treasury bond market from the perspective of a Bayesian econometrician BL who learns in real time from disagreement among investors about future bond yields. Notably, disagreement has substantial predictive power for yields, and BL’s risk premiums are less volatile than those in the analogous model without learning. BL’s forecasts are substantially more accurate than the consensus forecasts of market professionals, particularly following U.S. recessions. The predictive power of disagreement is distinct from the (much weaker) one of inflation and output growth. Rather, it appears to reflect uncertainty about future fiscal policy.