The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper assesses estimates of term structure models for the United States. To this end, this paper first describes the mathematics underlying two types of term structure models, namely the Nelson-Siegel and Cox, Ingersoll and Ross family of models, and the estimation techniques. It then presents estimations of some of specific models within these families of models?three-factor Nelson-Siegel Model, four-factor Svensson model, and preference-free, two-factor Cox, Ingersoll and Roll model?for the United States from 1972 to mid 2011. It subsequently provides an assessment of the estimations. It concludes that these estimations of the term structure models successfully capture the dynamics of the term structure in the United States.