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Testing Models of the Spot Interest Rate Volatility

54 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2004  

Miguel A. Ferreira

Nova School of Business and Economics; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: January 2002


This paper estimates discrete-time stochastic volatility models of the short-term spot interest rate for Germany and France, 1981-1997. Stochastic volatility interest rate models with both news and square root level effects seem to dominate alternative specifications. We extend previous results by using an exponential functional form for volatility, which is able to mitigate the impact of very large realizations and yield a better fit. Interest rate volatility shows a less persistent behavior than in stock returns and US Treasury bill yields volatility. Positive innovations in interest rates have a greater impact on conditional volatility than negative innovations.

Keywords: Interest rates, Stochastic volatility, GARCH

JEL Classification: C52, G12, E43

Suggested Citation

Ferreira, Miguel A., Testing Models of the Spot Interest Rate Volatility (January 2002). Available at SSRN: or

Miguel Almeida Ferreira (Contact Author)

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Campolide
Lisbon, 1099-032

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

B-1050 Brussels

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

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