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Factor Models and the Shape of the Term Structure

  • Schloegl, Erik
  • Daniel Sommer

he present paper analyses a broad range of one- and multifactor models of the term structure of interest rates. We assess the influence of the number of factors, mean reversion, and the factor probability distributions on the term structure shapes the models generate, and use spread options as an aggregate measure of the relative importance assigned to rising and falling forward rate curves by the models considered. We derive valuation formulas for these contingent claims in the multifactor Gaussian and CIR-models. Our main result is that the specification of mean reversion and the number of factors are both much more important for the relative movements of interest rates than the distributional characteristics of the factors. To the extent that interest rate risk depends on the movements of different parts of the term structure relative to one another rather than on shifts of its absolute level, the distributional assumption on the factor dynamics is found to be essentially irrelevant.

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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Discussion Paper Serie B with number 395.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: Jan 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonsfb:395
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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  1. Flesaker, Bjorn, 1993. "Testing the Heath-Jarrow-Morton/Ho-Lee Model of Interest Rate Contingent Claims Pricing," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(04), pages 483-495, December.
  2. Chan, K C, et al, 1992. " An Empirical Comparison of Alternative Models of the Short-Term Interest Rate," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1209-27, July.
  3. Robert A. Jarrow, 2009. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 69-96, November.
  4. Darrell Duffie & Rui Kan, 1996. "A Yield-Factor Model Of Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 379-406.
  5. Hugh Cohen & David Heath, 1992. "A new method of testing pricing models as applied to forward interest rate models," Working Paper 92-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Amin, Kaushik I. & Morton, Andrew J., 1994. "Implied volatility functions in arbitrage-free term structure models," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 141-180, April.
  7. Hull, John & White, Alan, 1990. "Pricing Interest-Rate-Derivative Securities," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(4), pages 573-92.
  8. 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.
  9. Schlögl, Erik & Daniel Sommer, 1994. "On Short Rate Processes and Their Implications for Term Structure Movements," Discussion Paper Serie B 293, University of Bonn, Germany.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  13. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1988. "The information in forward rates : Implications for models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 41-70, May.
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