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Telling from Discrete Data Whether the Underlying Continuous-Time Model is a Diffusion

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  • Yacine Ait-Sahalia

Abstract

Asset returns have traditionally been modeled in the literature as following continuous-time Markov processes, and in many cases diffusions. Can discretely sampled financial rate data help us decide which continuous-time models are sensible? Diffusion processes are characterized by the continuity of their sample paths. This cannot be verified from the discrete sample path: by nature, even if the underlying sample path were continuous, the discretely sampled data will always appear as a sequence of discrete jumps. Instead, this paper relies on a characterization of the transition density of the discrete data to determine whether the discontinuities observed in the discrete data are the result of the discreteness of sampling, or rather evidence of genuine jump dynamics for the underlying continuous-time process. I then focus on the implications of this approach for option pricing models.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8504.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
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Publication status: published as "Telling from Discrete Data Whether te Underlying Continuous-Time Model isa Diffusion" Journal of Finance, Vol. 57, pp.2075-2112 (2002)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8504

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  1. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 1996. "Nonparametric Pricing of Interest Rate Derivative Securities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 527-60, May.
  2. Breeden, Douglas T & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1978. "Prices of State-contingent Claims Implicit in Option Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 621-51, October.
  3. Yacine Aït-Sahalia, 1999. "Transition Densities for Interest Rate and Other Nonlinear Diffusions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1361-1395, 08.
  4. Darrell Duffie & Jun Pan & Kenneth Singleton, 1999. "Transform Analysis and Asset Pricing for Affine Jump-Diffusions," NBER Working Papers 7105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Florens, Jean-Pierre & Renault, Eric & Touzi, Nizar, 1998. "Testing For Embeddability By Stationary Reversible Continuous-Time Markov Processes," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 744-769, December.
  6. Merton, Robert C., 1975. "Option pricing when underlying stock returns are discontinuous," Working papers 787-75., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  7. Mark Rubinstein., 1994. "Implied Binomial Trees," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-232, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  9. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  10. Banz, Rolf W & Miller, Merton H, 1978. "Prices for State-contingent Claims: Some Estimates and Applications," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 653-72, October.
  11. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 1996. "Testing Continuous-Time Models of the Spot Interest Rate," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 385-426.
  12. Rubinstein, Mark, 1994. " Implied Binomial Trees," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 771-818, July.
  13. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine & Wang, Yubo & Yared, Francis, 2001. "Do option markets correctly price the probabilities of movement of the underlying asset?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 67-110, May.
  14. Jarrow, Robert & Rudd, Andrew, 1982. "Approximate option valuation for arbitrary stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 347-369, November.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:wyi:wpaper:002011 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold, 2005. "Roughing it Up: Including Jump Components in the Measurement, Modeling and Forecasting of Return Volatility," NBER Working Papers 11775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Duffie, Darrell, 2003. "Intertemporal asset pricing theory," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 639-742 Elsevier.
  4. repec:wyi:journl:002150 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Lee, Suzanne S. & Hannig, Jan, 2010. "Detecting jumps from Lévy jump diffusion processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 271-290, May.
  6. Lena Kleanthous & Pany Karamanou, 2011. "The ECB Monetary Policy and the Current Financial Crisis," Working Papers 2011-1, Central Bank of Cyprus.
  7. Lim, G.C. & Martin, G.M. & Martin, V.L., 2006. "Pricing currency options in the presence of time-varying volatility and non-normalities," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 291-314, July.
  8. René Garcia & Eric Ghysels & Éric Renault, 2004. "The Econometrics of Option Pricing," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-04, CIRANO.
  9. repec:wyi:journl:002108 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Andersen, Torben G. & Bollerslev, Tim & Francis X. Diebold,, 2003. "Some Like it Smooth, and Some Like it Rough: Untangling Continuous and Jump Components in Measuring, Modeling, and Forecasting Asset Return Volatility," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/35, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Chen, Gongmeng & Choi, Yoon K. & Zhou, Yong, 2008. "Detections of changes in return by a wavelet smoother with conditional heteroscedastic volatility," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 143(2), pages 227-262, April.
  12. George J. Jiang & Ingrid Lo & Adrien Verdelhan, 2008. "Information Shocks, Jumps, and Price Discovery -- Evidence from the U.S. Treasury Market," Working Papers 08-22, Bank of Canada.
  13. Jing, Bing-Yi & Kong, Xin-Bing & Liu, Zhi & Mykland, Per, 2012. "On the jump activity index for semimartingales," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(2), pages 213-223.
  14. Sergei Levendorskii, 2004. "The American put and European options near expiry, under Levy processes," Papers cond-mat/0404103, arXiv.org.
  15. Chen, Bin & Song, Zhaogang, 2013. "Testing whether the underlying continuous-time process follows a diffusion: An infinitesimal operator-based approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 173(1), pages 83-107.
  16. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 2004. "Disentangling diffusion from jumps," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 487-528, December.

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