Market Segmentation Theory

What is the 'Market Segmentation Theory'

The market segmentation theory is a modern theory pertaining to interest rates stipulating that there is no necessary relationship between long and short-term interest rates. Furthermore, short and long-term markets fall into two different categories. Therefore, the yield curve is shaped according to the supply and demand of securities within each maturity length.

BREAKING DOWN 'Market Segmentation Theory'

Also called the "Segmented Markets Theory", this idea states that most investors have set preferences regarding the length of maturities that they will invest in. Market segmentation theory maintains that the buyers and sellers in each of the different maturity lengths cannot be easily substituted for each other. An offshoot to this theory is that if an investor chooses to invest outside their term of preference, they must be compensated for taking on that additional risk. This is known as the Preferred Habitat Theory.

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