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Explaining the forward interest rate term structure


  • Andrew Matacz

    (Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management)

  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud

    (Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management
    CEA Saclay;)


We present compelling empirical evidence for a new interpretation of the Forward Rate Curve (FRC) term structure. We find that the average FRC follows a square-root law, with a prefactor related to the spot volatility, suggesting a Value-at-Risk like pricing. We find a striking correlation between the instantaneous FRC and the past spot trend over a certain time horizon. This confirms the idea of an anticipated trend mechanism proposed earlier and provides a natural explanation for the observed shape of the FRC volatility. We find that the one-factor Gaussian Heath-Jarrow-Morton model calibrated to the empirical volatility function fails to adequately describe these features.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Matacz & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 1999. "Explaining the forward interest rate term structure," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 500046, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:sfi:sfiwpa:500046

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrew Matacz & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 1999. "An empirical investigation of the forward interest rate term structure," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 500047, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
    2. David Heath & Robert Jarrow & Andrew Morton, 2008. "Bond Pricing And The Term Structure Of Interest Rates: A New Methodology For Contingent Claims Valuation," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 13, pages 277-305 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Carl Chiarella & Oh-Kang Kwon, 1999. "Classes of Interest Rate Models Under the HJM Framework," Research Paper Series 13, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
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    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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