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when I attended fixed-income classes, my Professor used to say that yield-to-maturity determines bond price and not viceversa.

I was wondering the meaning of this statement since the definition of yield-to-maturity is "the rate which makes the discounted bond cashflows equal to the bond price". So, from this statement, it seems to me that bond price is "given", in a certain sense, and then we can calculate yield-to-maturity.

My impression is that this topic is more or less something like "who came first? The egg or the chicken?".

Can you please help me to solve this "philosophical" question?

Thanks in advance.

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I can only imagine that you professor meant by 'yield-to-maturity' the general yield curve shape changes which indeed affect the prices of bonds.

Normally, 'yield-to-maturity' is one of possible return measures of a bond; practitioners prefer to quote certain class of bonds in terms of yield-to-maturity instead of prices but normally bond prices and yield-to-maturity are just equivalent measures of a bond value.

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