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A Maximum Likelihood Approach to Estimation of Heath-Jarrow-Morton Models




Research on the Heath-Jarrow-Morton (1992) term structure models so far has focused on the class having time-deterministic instantaneous forward rate volatility. In this case the forward rate is Markovian, even if the spot rate process is not. However, this Markovian feature can only be used under the historical measure, involving two unsatisfactory assumptions: one on market price risk, usually made for pure mathematical tractability, the other to use futures yields as a proxy for the instantaneous forward rate, which may result in estimation bias. This paper circumvents both of these assumptions. First, the bias is quantified and shown to be non-negligible. Then futures contracts are treated as derivative instruments written on forward rates to derive the full information maximum likelihood estimator for observable futures prices, using both time series and cross-sectional data, without the need to assume and estimate any functional forms for the market price of interest rate risk. The derivation involves the likelihood transformation method of Duan (1994). The method is then applied to the estimation of a humped forward rate volatility model for Eurodollar futures series traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Suggested Citation

  • Ram Bhar & Carl Chiarella & Thuy Duong To, 2002. "A Maximum Likelihood Approach to Estimation of Heath-Jarrow-Morton Models," Research Paper Series 80, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:rpaper:80

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Neil Shephard & Torben G. Andersen, 2008. "Stochastic Volatility: Origins and Overview," Economics Series Working Papers 389, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Valeria D’Amato & Emilia Di Lorenzo & Steven Haberman & Maria Russolillo & Marilena Sibillo, 2011. "The Poisson Log-Bilinear Lee-Carter Model," North American Actuarial Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 315-333.
    3. Yassine El Qalli, 2010. "Recursive Bayesian Estimation In Forward Price Models Implied By Fair Pricing," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(02), pages 301-333.
    4. Olivier Feron & Pierre Gruet, 2020. "Estimation of the number of factors in a multi-factorial Heath-Jarrow-Morton model in electricity markets," Working Papers hal-02880824, HAL.
    5. Laurini, Márcio Poletti & Ohashi, Alberto, 2015. "A noisy principal component analysis for forward rate curves," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 246(1), pages 140-153.
    6. Lee, Kiseop & Xu, Mingxin, 2007. "Parameter estimation from multinomial trees to jump diffusions with k means clustering," MPRA Paper 3307, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Apr 2007.

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    More about this item


    term structure; heath-jarrow-morton; time-deterministic forward volatility; humped forward volatility model; full information maximum likelihood;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing


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