# Estimation of jump-diffusion processes via empirical characteristic functions

### Details

Serval ID

serval:BIB_A97AE83DF150

Type

**PhD thesis**: a PhD thesis.

Collection

Publications

Fund

Title

Estimation of jump-diffusion processes via empirical characteristic functions

Director(s)

Rockinger M.

Institution

Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales

Publication state

Accepted

Issued date

03/2006

Language

english

Number of pages

135

Notes

REROID: R004103274

Abstract

Preface

The starting point for this work and eventually the subject of the whole thesis was the question: how to estimate parameters of the affine stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models. These models are very important for contingent claim pricing. Their major advantage, availability T of analytical solutions for characteristic functions, made them the models of choice for many theoretical constructions and practical applications. At the same time, estimation of parameters of stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models is not a straightforward task. The problem is coming from the variance process, which is non-observable.

There are several estimation methodologies that deal with estimation problems of latent variables. One appeared to be particularly interesting. It proposes the estimator that in contrast to the other methods requires neither discretization nor simulation of the process: the Continuous Empirical Characteristic function estimator (EGF) based on the unconditional characteristic function. However, the procedure was derived only for the stochastic volatility models without jumps. Thus, it has become the subject of my research.

This thesis consists of three parts. Each one is written as independent and self contained article. At the same time, questions that are answered by the second and third parts of this Work arise naturally from the issues investigated and results obtained in the first one.

The first chapter is the theoretical foundation of the thesis. It proposes an estimation procedure for the stochastic volatility models with jumps both in the asset price and variance processes. The estimation procedure is based on the joint unconditional characteristic function for the stochastic process. The major analytical result of this part as well as of the whole thesis is the closed form expression for the joint unconditional characteristic function for the stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models. The empirical part of the chapter suggests that besides a stochastic volatility, jumps both in the mean and the volatility equation are relevant for modelling returns of the S&P500 index, which has been chosen as a general representative of the stock asset class. Hence, the next question is: what jump process to use to model returns of the S&P500.

The decision about the jump process in the framework of the affine jump- diffusion models boils down to defining the intensity of the compound Poisson process, a constant or some function of state variables, and to choosing the distribution of the jump size. While the jump in the variance process is usually assumed to be exponential, there are at least three distributions of the jump size which are currently used for the asset log-prices: normal, exponential and double exponential. The second part of this thesis shows that normal jumps in the asset log-returns should be used if we are to model S&P500 index by a stochastic volatility jump-diffusion model. This is a surprising result. Exponential distribution has fatter tails and for this reason either exponential or double exponential jump size was expected to provide the best it of the stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models to the data.

The idea of testing the efficiency of the Continuous ECF estimator on the simulated data has already appeared when the first estimation results of the first chapter were obtained. In the absence of a benchmark or any ground for comparison it is unreasonable to be sure that our parameter estimates and the true parameters of the models coincide. The conclusion of the second chapter provides one more reason to do that kind of test. Thus, the third part of this thesis concentrates on the estimation of parameters of stochastic volatility jump- diffusion models on the basis of the asset price time-series simulated from various "true" parameter sets. The goal is to show that the Continuous ECF estimator based on the joint unconditional characteristic function is capable of finding the true parameters. And, the third chapter proves that our estimator indeed has the ability to do so.

Once it is clear that the Continuous ECF estimator based on the unconditional characteristic function is working, the next question does not wait to appear. The question is whether the computation effort can be reduced without affecting the efficiency of the estimator, or whether the efficiency of the estimator can be improved without dramatically increasing the computational burden.

The efficiency of the Continuous ECF estimator depends on the number of dimensions of the joint unconditional characteristic function which is used for its construction. Theoretically, the more dimensions there are, the more efficient is the estimation procedure. In practice, however, this relationship is not so straightforward due to the increasing computational difficulties. The second chapter, for example, in addition to the choice of the jump process, discusses the possibility of using the marginal, i.e. one-dimensional, unconditional characteristic function in the estimation instead of the joint, bi-dimensional, unconditional characteristic function. As result, the preference for one or the other depends on the model to be estimated. Thus, the computational effort can be reduced in some cases without affecting the efficiency of the estimator.

The improvement of the estimator s efficiency by increasing its dimensionality faces more difficulties. The third chapter of this thesis, in addition to what was discussed above, compares the performance of the estimators with bi- and three-dimensional unconditional characteristic functions on the simulated data. It shows that the theoretical efficiency of the Continuous ECF estimator based on the three-dimensional unconditional characteristic function is not attainable in practice, at least for the moment, due to the limitations on the computer power and optimization toolboxes available to the general public.

Thus, the Continuous ECF estimator based on the joint, bi-dimensional, unconditional characteristic function has all the reasons to exist and to be used for the estimation of parameters of the stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models.

The starting point for this work and eventually the subject of the whole thesis was the question: how to estimate parameters of the affine stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models. These models are very important for contingent claim pricing. Their major advantage, availability T of analytical solutions for characteristic functions, made them the models of choice for many theoretical constructions and practical applications. At the same time, estimation of parameters of stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models is not a straightforward task. The problem is coming from the variance process, which is non-observable.

There are several estimation methodologies that deal with estimation problems of latent variables. One appeared to be particularly interesting. It proposes the estimator that in contrast to the other methods requires neither discretization nor simulation of the process: the Continuous Empirical Characteristic function estimator (EGF) based on the unconditional characteristic function. However, the procedure was derived only for the stochastic volatility models without jumps. Thus, it has become the subject of my research.

This thesis consists of three parts. Each one is written as independent and self contained article. At the same time, questions that are answered by the second and third parts of this Work arise naturally from the issues investigated and results obtained in the first one.

The first chapter is the theoretical foundation of the thesis. It proposes an estimation procedure for the stochastic volatility models with jumps both in the asset price and variance processes. The estimation procedure is based on the joint unconditional characteristic function for the stochastic process. The major analytical result of this part as well as of the whole thesis is the closed form expression for the joint unconditional characteristic function for the stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models. The empirical part of the chapter suggests that besides a stochastic volatility, jumps both in the mean and the volatility equation are relevant for modelling returns of the S&P500 index, which has been chosen as a general representative of the stock asset class. Hence, the next question is: what jump process to use to model returns of the S&P500.

The decision about the jump process in the framework of the affine jump- diffusion models boils down to defining the intensity of the compound Poisson process, a constant or some function of state variables, and to choosing the distribution of the jump size. While the jump in the variance process is usually assumed to be exponential, there are at least three distributions of the jump size which are currently used for the asset log-prices: normal, exponential and double exponential. The second part of this thesis shows that normal jumps in the asset log-returns should be used if we are to model S&P500 index by a stochastic volatility jump-diffusion model. This is a surprising result. Exponential distribution has fatter tails and for this reason either exponential or double exponential jump size was expected to provide the best it of the stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models to the data.

The idea of testing the efficiency of the Continuous ECF estimator on the simulated data has already appeared when the first estimation results of the first chapter were obtained. In the absence of a benchmark or any ground for comparison it is unreasonable to be sure that our parameter estimates and the true parameters of the models coincide. The conclusion of the second chapter provides one more reason to do that kind of test. Thus, the third part of this thesis concentrates on the estimation of parameters of stochastic volatility jump- diffusion models on the basis of the asset price time-series simulated from various "true" parameter sets. The goal is to show that the Continuous ECF estimator based on the joint unconditional characteristic function is capable of finding the true parameters. And, the third chapter proves that our estimator indeed has the ability to do so.

Once it is clear that the Continuous ECF estimator based on the unconditional characteristic function is working, the next question does not wait to appear. The question is whether the computation effort can be reduced without affecting the efficiency of the estimator, or whether the efficiency of the estimator can be improved without dramatically increasing the computational burden.

The efficiency of the Continuous ECF estimator depends on the number of dimensions of the joint unconditional characteristic function which is used for its construction. Theoretically, the more dimensions there are, the more efficient is the estimation procedure. In practice, however, this relationship is not so straightforward due to the increasing computational difficulties. The second chapter, for example, in addition to the choice of the jump process, discusses the possibility of using the marginal, i.e. one-dimensional, unconditional characteristic function in the estimation instead of the joint, bi-dimensional, unconditional characteristic function. As result, the preference for one or the other depends on the model to be estimated. Thus, the computational effort can be reduced in some cases without affecting the efficiency of the estimator.

The improvement of the estimator s efficiency by increasing its dimensionality faces more difficulties. The third chapter of this thesis, in addition to what was discussed above, compares the performance of the estimators with bi- and three-dimensional unconditional characteristic functions on the simulated data. It shows that the theoretical efficiency of the Continuous ECF estimator based on the three-dimensional unconditional characteristic function is not attainable in practice, at least for the moment, due to the limitations on the computer power and optimization toolboxes available to the general public.

Thus, the Continuous ECF estimator based on the joint, bi-dimensional, unconditional characteristic function has all the reasons to exist and to be used for the estimation of parameters of the stochastic volatility jump-diffusion models.

Create date

15/07/2010 13:42

Last modification date

03/03/2018 20:22