Asymmetry in Government Bond Returns

Ippei Fuijwara, Lena Mareen Korber, Daisuke Nagakura
JEL codes: 
AJRC Working Papers

Is there asymmetry in the distribution of government bond returns in developed
countries? Can asymmetries be predicted using financial and macroeconomic variables?
To answer the first question, we provide evidence for asymmetry in government bond
returns in particular for short maturities. This finding has important implications for
modelling and forecasting government bond returns. For example, widely used models
for yield curve analysis such as the affine term structure model assume symmetrically
distributed innovations. To answer the second question, we find that liquidity in
government bond markets predicts the coefficient of skewness with a positive sign,
meaning that the probability of a large and negative excess return is more likely in a less
liquid market. In addition, a positive realized return is associated with a negative
coefficient of skewness, or a small probability of a large and negative return in the future.