The term structure of zero-coupon and coupon bonds: a comparative analysis
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The behavior of the term structure of zero-coupon bonds parallels the behavior of coupon bonds. Previous studies have demonstrated that there are synchronous changes among different maturities of coupon bonds. Results of statistical and sign tests are used to measure the degree of synchronicity, the relative amplitude of change and the amount of sensitivity among different paired maturities for zero-coupon bonds. A comparison is then made to the results of coupon bonds to verify that the behavior of the term structure of zero-coupon bonds are consistent with observations in previous studies, including a study of high-grade corporate bonds from 1901-1954 by Dr. David I. Meiselman. Generally, all maturities move in the same direction with short term rates more synchronous than longer term rates. Also, there is a general tendency for relative volatility to vary inversely with maturity, therefore, short term maturities have a greater degree of volatility than do long term maturities. The results are generally consistent with Meiselman's earlier findings.
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