Empirical research on the benefits of investing in inflation-linked bonds usually relies on a limited number of observations due to the relatively recent introduction of these assets. We estimate models for the break-even inflation rate and use these to create hypothetical inflation-linked bond returns. We compare these with the return on actual inflation-linked bond returns on a recent sample and find that surveys of professional forecasters and moving average models perform best. We confirm these findings for a sample of 19 international inflation-linked bond markets. Using surveys of professional forecasters, we create hypothetical inflation-linked bond return series for 41 countries starting in 1987 or later depending on the availability of nominal bond markets. These simulated series can be used by asset allocation researchers, but an average correlation of 0.7 means that the simulated series are at best reasonable proxies for real data on inflation-linked bond returns. This cautionary note is also relevant to appreciate existing research using simulated inflation-linked bond returns.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.jempfin.2018.06.005, hdl.handle.net/1765/109745
ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Empirical Finance
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Swinkels, L. (2018). Simulating historical inflation-linked bond returns. Journal of Empirical Finance, 48, 374–389. doi:10.1016/j.jempfin.2018.06.005