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

  • Yacine Aït-Sahalia

    (Princeton University and NBER)

Can discretely sampled financial 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: Even if the underlying path were continuous, data sampled at discrete times will always appear as a succession of jumps. Instead, I rely on the transition density to determine whether the discontinuities observed 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. Copyright The American Finance Association 2002.

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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 57 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 2075-2112

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:57:y:2002:i:5:p:2075-2112
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  1. Mark Rubinstein., 1994. "Implied Binomial Trees," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-232, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  3. Darrell Duffie & Jun Pan & Kenneth Singleton, 2000. "Transform Analysis and Asset Pricing for Affine Jump-Diffusions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1343-1376, November.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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. Merton, Robert C., 1976. "Option pricing when underlying stock returns are discontinuous," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 125-144.
  10. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 1996. "Nonparametric Pricing of Interest Rate Derivative Securities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 527-60, May.
  11. Jarrow, Robert & Rudd, Andrew, 1982. "Approximate option valuation for arbitrary stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 347-369, November.
  12. Rubinstein, Mark, 1994. " Implied Binomial Trees," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 771-818, July.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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