IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Specification Analysis of Diffusion Models for the Italian Short Rate


  • Monica Gentile
  • Roberto Renò


In recent years, diffusion models for interest rates became very popular. In this paper, we perform a selection of a suitable diffusion model for the Italian short rate. Our data set is given by the yields on 3-month BOT (Buoni Ordinari del Tesoro), from 1981 to 2001, for a total of 470 observations. We investigate among stochastic volatility models, paying more attention to affine models. Estimating diffusion models via maximum likelihood, which would lead to efficiency, is usually unfeasible because the transition density is not available. Recently, Gallant and Tauchen (1996) proposed a method of moments which gains full efficiency, hence its name of Efficient Method of Moments (EMM); it selects the moments as the scores of an auxiliary model, to be computed via simulation; thus, EMM is suitable to diffusions whose transition density is unknown, but which are convenient to simulate. The auxiliary model is selected among a family of densities which spans the density space. As a by-product, EMM provides diagnostics that are easy to compute and interpret. We find evidence that one-factor models and multi-factor affine models are rejected, while a logarithmic specification of the volatility provides the best fit to the data. Copyright Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Monica Gentile & Roberto Renò, 2005. "Specification Analysis of Diffusion Models for the Italian Short Rate," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 34(1), pages 51-83, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecnote:v:34:y:2005:i:1:p:51-83

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecnote:v:34:y:2005:i:1:p:51-83. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.