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A Geometric View of Interest Rate Theory


  • Björk, Tomas

    () (Department of Finance)


The purpose of this essay is to give an overview of some recent workconcerning structural properties of the evolution of the forward rate curve in an arbitrage free bond market. The main problems to be discussed are as follows. 1. When is a given forward rate model consistent with a given family of forward rate curves? 2. When can the inherently infinite dimensional forward rate process be realized by means of a finite dimensional state space model. We consider interest rate models of Heath-Jarrow-Morton type, where the forward rates are driven by a multi- dimensional Wiener process, and where he volatility is allowed to be an arbitrary smooth functional of the present forward rate curve. Within this framwork we give necessary and sufficient conditions for consistency, as well as for the existence of a finite dimensional realization, in terms of the forward rate volatilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Björk, Tomas, 2000. "A Geometric View of Interest Rate Theory," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 419, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 21 Dec 2000.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0419 Note: To appear in "Handbook of Mathematical Finance". Cambridge University Press

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Eberlein & Sebastian Raible, 1999. "Term Structure Models Driven by General Lévy Processes," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 31-53.
    2. R. Bhar & C. Chiarella, 1997. "Transformation of Heath?Jarrow?Morton models to Markovian systems," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-26.
    3. John C. Cox & Jonathan E. Ingersoll Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 2005. "A Theory Of The Term Structure Of Interest Rates," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 5, pages 129-164 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Carl Chiarella & Oh Kang Kwon, 2001. "Forward rate dependent Markovian transformations of the Heath-Jarrow-Morton term structure model," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 237-257.
    5. Tomas Björk & Bent Jesper Christensen, 1999. "Interest Rate Dynamics and Consistent Forward Rate Curves," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 323-348.
    6. Inui, Koji & Kijima, Masaaki, 1998. "A Markovian Framework in Multi-Factor Heath-Jarrow-Morton Models," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(03), pages 423-440, September.
    7. Robert A. Jarrow, 2009. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 69-96, November.
    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 1011-1029, December.
    9. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
    10. Peter Ritchken & L. Sankarasubramanian, 1995. "Volatility Structures Of Forward Rates And The Dynamics Of The Term Structure," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 55-72.
    11. Hull, John & White, Alan, 1990. "Pricing Interest-Rate-Derivative Securities," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(4), pages 573-592.
    12. Björk, Tomas & Svensson, Lars, 1999. "On the Existence of Finite Dimensional Realizations for Nonlinear Forward Rate Models," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 338, Stockholm School of Economics.
    13. Alan Brace & Marek Musiela, 1994. "A Multifactor Gauss Markov Implementation Of Heath, Jarrow, And Morton," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 259-283.
    14. Nelson, Charles R & Siegel, Andrew F, 1987. "Parsimonious Modeling of Yield Curves," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 473-489, October.
    15. Tomas BjÃrk & Andrea Gombani, 1999. "Minimal realizations of interest rate models," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 413-432.
    16. Darrell Duffie & Rui Kan, 1996. "A Yield-Factor Model Of Interest Rates," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 379-406.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carl Chiarella & Sara Pasquali & Wolfgang Runggaldier, 2001. "On Filtering in Markovian Term Structure Models (An Approximation Approach)," Research Paper Series 65, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
    2. Diebold, Francis X. & Li, Canlin, 2006. "Forecasting the term structure of government bond yields," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 337-364, February.

    More about this item


    interest rates; Markovian realizations; forward rates; invariant manifold;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing


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