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Calibrating the Black-Derman-Toy model: some theoretical results

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  • Phelim Boyle
  • Ken Seng Tan
  • Weidong Tian
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    Abstract

    The Black-Derman-Toy (BDT) model is a popular one-factor interest rate model that is widely used by practitioners. One of its advantages is that the model can be calibrated to both the current market term structure of interest rate and the current term structure of volatilities. The input term structure of volatility can be either the short term volatility or the yield volatility. Sandmann and Sondermann derived conditions for the calibration to be feasible when the conditional short rate volatility is used. In this paper conditions are investigated under which calibration to the yield volatility is feasible. Mathematical conditions for this to happen are derived. The restrictions in this case are more complicated than when the short rate volatilities are used since the calibration at each time step now involves the solution of two non-linear equations. The theoretical results are illustrated by showing numerically that in certain situations the calibration based on the yield volatility breaks down for apparently plausible inputs. In implementing the calibration from period n to period n + 1, the corresponding yield volatility has to lie within certain bounds. Under certain circumstances these bounds become very tight. For yield volatilities that violate these bounds, the computed short rates for the period (n, n + 1) either become negative or else explode and this feature corresponds to the economic intuition behind the breakdown.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13504860110062049
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Mathematical Finance.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 27-48

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:apmtfi:v:8:y:2001:i:1:p:27-48

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    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RAMF20

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    Related research

    Keywords: Interest Rate Models; Black-DERMAN-TOY Model; Volatility; Short Term; Yield;

    References

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    1. Ho, Thomas S Y & Lee, Sang-bin, 1986. " Term Structure Movements and Pricing Interest Rate Contingent Claims," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(5), pages 1011-29, December.
    2. Brennan, Michael J. & Schwartz, Eduardo S., 1979. "A continuous time approach to the pricing of bonds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 133-155, July.
    3. Hull, John & White, Alan, 1993. "One-Factor Interest-Rate Models and the Valuation of Interest-Rate Derivative Securities," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 235-254, June.
    4. K. Sandmann & Sondermann, D., 1993. "A Term Structure Model and the Pricing of Interest Rate Derivative," Discussion Paper Serie B 180, University of Bonn, Germany.
    5. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
    6. Michael J. Brennan and Eduardo S. Schwartz., 1979. "A Continuous-Time Approach to the Pricing of Bonds," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 85, University of California at Berkeley.
    7. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
    8. Heath, David & Jarrow, Robert & Morton, Andrew, 1990. "Bond Pricing and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: A Discrete Time Approximation," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(04), pages 419-440, December.
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