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Interest rates calibration with a CIR model

Giuseppe Orlando (Department of Economics and Finance – Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy and School of Science and Technologies – Università degli Studi di Camerino, Camerino, Italy)
Rosa Maria Mininni (Department of Mathematics – Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy)
Michele Bufalo (Department of Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance – Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy)

Journal of Risk Finance

ISSN: 1526-5943

Publication date: 19 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to model interest rates from observed financial market data through a new approach to the Cox–Ingersoll–Ross (CIR) model. This model is popular among financial institutions mainly because it is a rather simple (uni-factorial) and better model than the former Vasicek framework. However, there are a number of issues in describing interest rate dynamics within the CIR framework on which focus should be placed. Therefore, a new methodology has been proposed that allows forecasting future expected interest rates from observed financial market data by preserving the structure of the original CIR model, even with negative interest rates. The performance of the new approach, tested on monthly-recorded interest rates data, provides a good fit to current data for different term structures.

Design/methodology/approach

To ensure a fitting close to current interest rates, the innovative step in the proposed procedure consists in partitioning the entire available market data sample, usually showing a mixture of probability distributions of the same type, in a suitable number of sub-sample having a normal/gamma distribution. An appropriate translation of market interest rates to positive values has been introduced to overcome the issue of negative/near-to-zero values. Then, the CIR model parameters have been calibrated to the shifted market interest rates and simulated the expected values of interest rates by a Monte Carlo discretization scheme. We have analysed the empirical performance of the proposed methodology for two different monthly-recorded EUR data samples in a money market and a long-term data set, respectively.

Findings

Better results are shown in terms of the root mean square error when a segmentation of the data sample in normally distributed sub-samples is considered. After assessing the accuracy of the proposed procedure, the implemented algorithm was applied to forecast next-month expected interest rates over a historical period of 12 months (fixed window). Through an error analysis, it was observed that our algorithm provides a better fitting of the predicted expected interest rates to market data than the exponentially weighted moving average model. A further confirmation of the efficiency of the proposed algorithm and of the quality of the calibration of the CIR parameters to the observed market interest rates is given by applying the proposed forecasting technique.

Originality/value

This paper has the objective of modelling interest rates from observed financial market data through a new approach to the CIR model. This model is popular among financial institutions mainly because it is a rather simple (uni-factorial) and better model than the former Vasicek model (Section 2). However, there are a number of issues in describing short-term interest rate dynamics within the CIR framework on which focus should be placed. A new methodology has been proposed that allows us to forecast future expected short-term interest rates from observed financial market data by preserving the structure of the original CIR model. The performance of the new approach, tested on monthly data, provides a good fit for different term structures. It is shown how the proposed methodology overcomes both the usual challenges (e.g. simulating regime switching, clustered volatility and skewed tails), as well as the new ones added by the current market environment (particularly the need to model a downward trend to negative interest rates).

Keywords

Citation

Orlando, G., Mininni, R.M. and Bufalo, M. (2019), "Interest rates calibration with a CIR model", Journal of Risk Finance, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 370-387. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRF-05-2019-0080

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited