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Can spanned term structure factors drive stochastic yield volatility?

  • Christensen, Jens H.E.


    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Lopez, Jose A.


    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Rudebusch, Glenn D.


    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

The ability of the usual factors from empirical arbitrage-free representations of the term structure—that is, spanned factors—to account for interest rate volatility dynamics has been much debated. We examine this issue with a comprehensive set of new arbitrage-free term structure specifications that allow for spanned stochastic volatility to be linked to one or more of the yield curve factors. Using U.S. Treasury yields, we find that much realized stochastic volatility cannot be associated with spanned term structure factors. However, a simulation study reveals that the usual realized volatility metric is misleading when yields contain plausible measurement noise. We argue that other metrics should be used to validate stochastic volatility models.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2014-3.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2014-03
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  1. Jens H. E. Christensen & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2012. "The response of interest rates to U.S. and U.K. quantitative easing," Working Paper Series 2012-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Torben G. Andersen & Luca Benzoni, 2007. "Do Bonds Span Volatility Risk in the U.S. Treasury Market? A Specification test for Affine Term Structure Models," NBER Working Papers 12962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jens H. E. Christensen & Jose A. Lopez & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2009. "Do central bank liquidity facilities affect interbank lending rates?," Working Paper Series 2009-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Jens H. E. Christensen & Jose A. Lopez & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2009. "Inflation expectations and risk premiums in an arbitrage-free model of nominal and real bond yields," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jan.
  5. Duffee, Gregory R, 1999. "Estimating the Price of Default Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(1), pages 197-226.
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  8. Hautsch, Nikolaus & Ou, Yangguoyi, 2009. "Analyzing interest rate risk: Stochastic volatility in the term structure of government bond yields," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/03, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
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  15. Joost Driessen, 2005. "Is Default Event Risk Priced in Corporate Bonds?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 165-195.
  16. Ruslan Bikbov & Mikhail Chernov, 2011. "Yield Curve and Volatility: Lessons from Eurodollar Futures and Options," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 9(1), pages 66-105, Winter.
  17. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2012. "Correcting Estimation Bias in Dynamic Term Structure Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 454-467, April.
  18. Collin-Dufresne, Pierre & Goldstein, Robert S. & Jones, Christopher S., 2009. "Can interest rate volatility be extracted from the cross section of bond yields?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 47-66, October.
  19. Koopman, Siem Jan & Mallee, Max I. P. & Van der Wel, Michel, 2010. "Analyzing the Term Structure of Interest Rates Using the Dynamic Nelson–Siegel Model With Time-Varying Parameters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(3), pages 329-343.
  20. Dai, Qiang & Singleton, Kenneth J., 2002. "Expectation puzzles, time-varying risk premia, and affine models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 415-441, March.
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