Calibrating the Black-Derman-Toy model: some theoretical results
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.
Volume (Year): 8 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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