Modeling short-term interest rates as following regime-switching processes has become increasingly popular. Theoretically, regime-switching models are able to capture rational expectations of infrequently occurring discrete events. Technically, they allow for potential time-varying stationarity. After discussing both aspects with reference to the recent literature, this paper provides estimations of various univariate regime-switching specifications for the German three-month money market rate and bivariate specifications additionally including the term spread. However, the main contribution is a multi-step out-of-sample forecasting competition. It turns out that forecasts are improved substantially when allowing for state-dependence. Particularly, the informational content of the term spread for future short rate changes can be exploited optimally within a multivariate regime-switching framework.
interest rates term structure peso problem regime-switching forecasting