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A Semiparametric Factor Model Of Interest Rates And Tests Of The Affine Term Structure

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  • Eric Ghysels
  • Serena Ng

Abstract

Many continuous-time term structure of interest rate models assume a factor structure where the drift and volatility functions are affine functions of the state-variable process. These models involve very specific parametric choices of factors and functional specifications of the drift and volatility. Moreover, under the affine term structure restrictions not all factors necessarily affect interest rates at all maturities simultaneously. This class of so-called affine models covers a wide variety of existing empirical as well as theoretical models in the literature. In this paper we take a very agnostic approach to the specification of these diffusion functions and test implications of the affine term structure restrictions. We do not test a specific model among the class of affine models per se. Instead, the affine term structure restrictions we test are based on the derivatives of the responses of interest rates to the factors. We also test how many and which factors affect a particular rate. These tests are conducted within a framework which models interest rates as functions of "fundamental" factors, and the responses of interest rates to these factors are estimated with nonparametric methods. We consider two sets of factors, one based on key macroeconomic variables, and one based on interest rate spreads. In general, despite their common use we find that the empirical evidence does not support the restrictions imposed by affine models. Besides testing the affine structure restrictions we also uncover a set of fundamental factors which appear remarkably robust in explaining interest rate dynamics at the long and short maturities we consider. © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technolog

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  • Eric Ghysels & Serena Ng, 1998. "A Semiparametric Factor Model Of Interest Rates And Tests Of The Affine Term Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 535-548, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:80:y:1998:i:4:p:535-548
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    Cited by:

    1. Jagannathan, Ravi & Kaplin, Andrew & Sun, Steve, 2003. "An evaluation of multi-factor CIR models using LIBOR, swap rates, and cap and swaption prices," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1-2), pages 113-146.
    2. Bams, Dennis & Schotman, Peter C., 2003. "Direct estimation of the risk neutral factor dynamics of Gaussian term structure models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 179-206, November.
    3. D H Kim, 2005. "Nonlinearity in the Term Structure," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 51, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    4. Dong Heon Kim, 2004. "Nonlinearity in the Term Structure," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 440, Econometric Society.
    5. Chernov, Mikhail & Ronald Gallant, A. & Ghysels, Eric & Tauchen, George, 2003. "Alternative models for stock price dynamics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1-2), pages 225-257.
    6. D H Kim, 2004. "Nonlinearity in the Term Structure," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0401, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    7. René Garcia & Eric Ghysels & Éric Renault, 2004. "The Econometrics of Option Pricing," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-04, CIRANO.
    8. Teresa Corzo Santamaría & Javier Gómez Biscarri, 2005. "Nonparametric estimation of convergence of interest rates: Effects on bond pricing," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 167-190, September.
    9. Massimo Guidolin & Daniel L. Thornton, 2010. "Predictions of short-term rates and the expectations hypothesis," Working Papers 2010-013, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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