Specification Analysis of Affine Term Structure Models
In this paper, we explore the features of affine term structure models that are empirically important for explaining the joint distribution of yields on short and long-term interest rate swaps. We begin by showing that the family of N-factor affine models can be classified into N+1 non-nested sub-families of models. For each sub-family, we derive a maximal model with the property that every admissible member of this family is equivalent to or a nested special case of our maximal model. Second, using our classification scheme and maximal models, we show that many of the three-factor models in the literature impose potentially strong over-identifying restrictions on the joint distribution of short- and long-term rates. Third, we compute simulated method-of-moments estimates for several members of one of the four branches of three-factor models, and test the over-identifying restrictions implied by these models. We conclude that many of the extant affine models in the literature fail to describe important features of the distribution of long- and short- term rates. The source of the model misspecification is shown to be overly strong restrictions on the correlations among the state variables. Relaxing these restrictions leads to a model that passes several goodness-of-fit tests over our sample period.
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|Date of creation:||27 Oct 1998|
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