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This study uses a testing framework based on financial trading strategies on data spanning 70 years in six countries and finds consistent and robust evidence of bond return predictability.


We use 70 years of international data from the major bond markets to examine bond return predictability through in-sample and out-of-sample tests. Our results reveal economically strong and statistically significant bond return predictability. This finding is robust over markets and time periods, including 30 years of out-of-sample data, prolonged periods of rising or falling rates, and a dataset of nine additional countries. Furthermore, the results are not explained by market or macroeconomic risks, nor can they be easily attributed to transaction costs or other investment frictions. These results reveal predictable dynamics in government bond returns relevant for academics and practitioners.

About the Authors

Guido Baltussen

Guido Baltussen is professor of finance at Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and executive director of Quantitative Investments at Robeco Asset Management, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Martin Martens

Martin Martens is head of Quant Allocation Research at Robeco, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Olaf Penninga