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Title:Is the Short Rate Drift Actually Nonlinear?
Author(s):Chapman, David A.; Pearson, Neil D.
Subject(s):nonparametric estimation
GMM estimation procedure
Abstract:Virtually all existing continuous-time, single-factor term structure models are based on a short rate process that has a linear drift function. However, there is no strong a priori argument in favor of linearity, and Stanton (1997) and Ait-Sahalia (1996) employ nonparametric estimation techniques to conclude that the drift function of the short rate contains important nonlinearities. Comparatively little is known about the finite-sample properties of these estimators, particularly when they are applied to frequent sampling of a very persistent process, like short term interest rates. In this paper, we apply these estimators to simulated sample paths of a square-root diffusion. Although the drift function is linear, both estimators suggest nonlinearities of the type and magnitude reported in by Stanton (1997) and Ait-Sahalia (1996). These results, along with the results of a simple GMM estimation procedure applied to the Stanton and Ait-Sahalia data sets, imply that nonlinearity of the short rate drift is not a robust stylized fact.
Issue Date:1998-06-16
Publisher:Office for Futures and Options Research, Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Series/Report:OFOR Working Paper Series, no. 98-07
Genre:Working / Discussion Paper
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-03-18

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