On the estimation and comparison of short-rate models using the generalised method of moments

Robert Faff, Philip Gray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Subsequent to the influential paper of [Chan, K.C., Karolyi, G.A., Longstaff, F.A., Sanders, A.B., 1992. An empirical comparison of alternative models of the short-term interest rate. Journal of Finance 47, 1209-1227], the generalised method of moments (GMM) has been a popular technique for estimation and inference relating to continuous-time models of the short-term interest rate. GMM has been widely employed to estimate model parameters and to assess the goodness-of-fit of competing short-rate specifications. The current paper conducts a series of simulation experiments to document the bias and precision of GMM estimates of short-rate parameters, as well as the size and power of [Hansen, L.P., 1982. Large sample properties of generalised method of moments estimators. Econometrica 50, 1029-1054], J-test of over-identifying restrictions. While the J-test appears to have appropriate size and good power in sample sizes commonly encountered in the short-rate literature, GMM estimates of the speed of mean reversion are shown to be severely biased. Consequently, it is dangerous to draw strong conclusions about the strength of mean reversion using GMM. In contrast, the parameter capturing the levels effect, which is important in differentiating between competing short-rate specifications, is estimated with little bias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3131-3146
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Banking and Finance
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


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