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Specification Analysis of Affine Term Structure Models

  • Qiang Dai
  • Kenneth J. Singleton
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    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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    Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business- in its series New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires with number 98-083.

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    Date of creation: 27 Oct 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:fth:nystfi:98-083
    Contact details of provider: Postal: U.S.A.; New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics . 44 West 4th Street. New York, New York 10012-1126
    Phone: (212) 998-0100
    Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/finance/
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