I'm trying to understand bond pricing with the Vasicek interest rate model. I'm using McDonald's book for this purpose (not homework).

Recall that Vasicek dynamics are \begin{equation*} \mathrm{d}r_t = a(b - r_t) \mathrm{d}t + \sigma \mathrm{d}Z_t. \end{equation*}

Now, Macdonald introduces the exponential affine formulas to price a unit zero:

\begin{align*} P(r,t,T) &= A(t,T)\exp\left(rB(t,T)\right) \\ A(t,T) &= \exp\left(\bar{r} (B(t,T) - T + t) + \frac{B(t,T)^2\sigma^2}{4a}\right)\\ B(t,T) &= \frac{1 - e^{-a(T-t)}}{a}\\ \bar{r} &= b + \frac{\sigma\phi}{a} - \frac{\sigma^2}{a^2} \end{align*}

In the course of deriving these expressions, Macdonald asks us to assume that $\phi$, which is the Sharpe ratio for the motion, is constant. But we can see that it is only constant when $a = 0$.

Later, Macdonald talks about the Sharpe ratio for the "interest rate risk", a phrasing I find very obscure. Is that the bond price process? The Vasicek process? In either case, they're driven by the same Brownian motion and should have the same (non-constant) Sharpe ratio.

Can somebody explain how to apply these formulas? Just a sketch would do -- but I'm stymied by the presentation.

  • $\begingroup$ what is the title of McDonald's book? $\endgroup$
    – Gordon
    May 4, 2015 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Gordon: "Derivatives Markets" $\endgroup$
    – nomen
    May 4, 2015 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


Bond Prices

Assume that the short rate $r_t$ follows the Ito process as described by the following stochastic differential equation \begin{align} d{{r}_{t}}=\mu ({{r}_{t}},t)dt+\sigma ({{r}_{t}},t)d{{W}_{t}^{P}} \end{align} we assume the bond price to be dependent on $r_t$ only, independent of default risk, liquidity and other factors. If we write the bond price as $P(r_t, t)=V(t,r_t,T)$ such that $V(t,r_t,t)=1$ then \begin{align} dV=({{V}_{t}}+\mu \,{{V}_{r}}\,+\frac{1}{2}{{\sigma }^{2}}{{V}_{rr}})dt+\sigma {{V}_{r}}d{{W}_{t}} \end{align} for simplicity let \begin{align} & {{\mu }_{V}}=\frac{{{V}_{t}}+\mu {{V}_{r}}\,+\frac{1}{2}{{\sigma }^{2}}{{V}_{rr}}}{V} \\ & {{\sigma }_{V}}=\frac{\sigma {{V}_{r}}\,}{V} \\ \end{align} thus we have \begin{align} dV={{\mu }_{V}}\,Vdt+{{\sigma }_{V}}\,V\,d{{W}_{t}} \end{align} The following portfolio is constructed: we buy a bond of dollar value V1 with maturity $T_1$ and sell another bond of dollar value $V_2$ with maturity $T_2$. The portfolio value $\Pi$ is given by \begin{align} \Pi ={{V}_{1}}-{{V}_{2}} \end{align} According to the bond price dynamics,we have \begin{align} \Pi =({{\mu }_{{{V}_{1}}}}{{V}_{1}}-{{\mu }_{{{V}_{2}}}}{{V}_{2}})\,dt+({{\sigma }_{{{V}_{1}}}}{{V}_{1}}-{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{2}}}}{{V}_{2}})\,d{{W}_{t}} \end{align} Suppose $V_1$ and $V_2$ are chosen such that \begin{align} & {{V}_{1}}=\frac{{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{2}}}}}{{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{2}}}}-{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{1}}}}}\Pi \\ & {{V}_{2}}=\frac{{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{1}}}}}{{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{2}}}}-{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{1}}}}}\Pi \\ \end{align} then the stochastic term in $d\Pi$ vanishes and the equation becomes $$d\Pi =\left( \frac{{{\mu }_{{{V}_{1}}}}{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{2}}}}-{{\mu }_{{{V}_{2}}}}{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{1}}}}}{{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{2}}}}-{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{1}}}}} \right)\Pi \,dt$$ Since the portfolio is instantaneously riskless, in order to avoid arbitrage opportunities,it must earn the riskless short rate so that $d\Pi =r(t)\Pi dt$ ,then $$\frac{{{\mu }_{{{V}_{1}}}}-r(t)}{{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{1}}}}}=\frac{{{\mu }_{{{V}_{2}}}}-r(t)}{{{\sigma }_{{{V}_{2}}}}}$$ The above relation is valid for arbitrary maturity dates $T_1$ and $T_2$, so the ratio should be independent of maturity $T$.Let the common ratio be defined by $\lambda$, that is, $$\frac{{{\mu }_{V}}-r(t)}{{{\sigma }_{V}}}=\lambda \,({{r}_{t}},t)$$ The quantity $\lambda$ is called the market price of risk of the short rate.If we substitute $μ_V(r, t)$ and $σ_V(r, t)$ into above Equation, we obtain the following governing differential equation for the price of a zero-coupon bond $${{V}_{t}}+(\mu -\lambda \sigma \,){{V}_{r}}\,+\frac{1}{2}{{\sigma }^{2}}{{V}_{rr}}-{{r}_{t}}\,V=0$$

Change Measure

we assume $Q$ be a martingale measure such that $$dW_{t}^{P}=-\lambda(r,t)dt+dW_{t}^{Q}$$ thus we have $$d{{r}_{t}}=\mu^*(r_t,t)dt+\sigma ({{r}_{t}},t)dW_{t}^{Q}$$ where $$\mu^*(r_t,t)=\mu({{r}_{t}},t)-\lambda ({{r}_{t}},t)\sigma ({{r}_{t}},t)$$

Affine Term Structure Models

A short rate model that generates the bond price solution of the form $$P(t\,,T)=V(t,r_t,T)={{e}^{A(t,T)\,-\,B(t,T){{r}_{t}}\,}}$$ Suppose the dynamics of the short rate $r_t$ under the risk neutral measure $Q$ is governed by \begin{align} d{{r}_{t}}=\mu^* ({{r}_{t}},t)dt+\sigma ({{r}_{t}},t)d{{W}_{t}^{Q}} \end{align} where \begin{align} &\mu^* ({{r}_{t}},T)=\alpha (t)\,{{r}_{t}}+\beta (t) \\ &{{\sigma }^{2}}({{r}_{t}},T)=\gamma (t)\,{{r}_{t}}+\delta (t) \\ \end{align} We show the governing equation for $P(t, T )=V(t,r,T)$ is given by $${{V}_{t}}+\mu ^*{{V}_{r}}\,+\frac{1}{2}{{\sigma }^{2}}{{V}_{rr}}-{{r}_{t}}\,V=0$$

Substituting the assumed affine solution of bond price into this equation, we obtain \begin{align} & {{B}_{t}}(t,T)+\alpha (t)B(t,T)-\frac{1}{2}\gamma (t){{B}^{2}}(t,T)=-1 \\ &B(T,T)=0 \\ \end{align} and \begin{align} & {{A}_{t}}(t,T)=\beta (t)B(t,T)-\frac{1}{2}\delta (t){{B}^{2}}(t,T) \\ & A(T,T)=0 \\ \end{align}

Vasicek Model

Vasicek (1977) proposed the stochastic process for the short rate $r_t$ under the Martingle measure to be governed by the Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process: $$d{{r}_{t}}=a(b-r_t)dt+\sigma d{{W}_{t}^{Q}}$$ hence \begin{align} & \alpha (t)=-a\,\,\,\,\,\,,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\beta (t)=ab \\ & \gamma (t)=\,0\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\delta (t)={{\sigma }^{2}} \\ \end{align} thus we have $$ B(t,T)= \frac{1 - e^{-a(T-t)}}{a}\\$$ and $$ A(t,T)= exp\left((b + \frac{\sigma\phi}{a}-\frac{\sigma^2}{a^2})(B(t,T) - T + t) + \frac{B(t,T)^2\sigma^2}{4a}\right)$$


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