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Bias in estimating multivariate and univariate diffusions

Author

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  • Wang, Xiaohu
  • Phillips, Peter C.B.
  • Yu, Jun

Abstract

Multivariate continuous time models are now widely used in economics and finance. Empirical applications typically rely on some process of discretization so that the system may be estimated with discrete data. This paper introduces a framework for discretizing linear multivariate continuous time systems that includes the commonly used Euler and trapezoidal approximations as special cases and leads to a general class of estimators for the mean reversion matrix. Asymptotic distributions and bias formulae are obtained for estimates of the mean reversion parameter. Explicit expressions are given for the discretization bias and its relationship to estimation bias in both multivariate and in univariate settings. In the univariate context, we compare the performance of the two approximation methods relative to exact maximum likelihood (ML) in terms of bias and variance for the Vasicek process. The bias and the variance of the Euler method are found to be smaller than the trapezoidal method, which are in turn smaller than those of exact ML. Simulations suggest that when the mean reversion is slow, the approximation methods work better than ML, the bias formulae are accurate, and for scalar models the estimates obtained from the two approximate methods have smaller bias and variance than exact ML. For the square root process, the Euler method outperforms the Nowman method in terms of both bias and variance. Simulation evidence indicates that the Euler method has smaller bias and variance than exact ML, Nowman's method and the Milstein method.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Xiaohu & Phillips, Peter C.B. & Yu, Jun, 2011. "Bias in estimating multivariate and univariate diffusions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 228-245, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:161:y:2011:i:2:p:228-245
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Phillips, Peter C. B., 2014. "Unit Roots In Life—A Graduate Student Story," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, pages 719-736.
    2. Chambers, MJ & McCrorie, JR & Thornton, MA, 2017. "Continuous Time Modelling Based on an Exact Discrete Time Representation," Economics Discussion Papers 20497, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    3. Laurini, Márcio Poletti & Hotta, Luiz Koodi, 2013. "Indirect Inference in fractional short-term interest rate diffusions," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 109-126.
    4. Christensen, Bent Jesper & Posch, Olaf & van der Wel, Michel, 2016. "Estimating dynamic equilibrium models using mixed frequency macro and financial data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 194(1), pages 116-137.
    5. Thornton, Michael A. & Chambers, Marcus J., 2016. "The exact discretisation of CARMA models with applications in finance," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 739-761.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bias Diffusion Euler approximation Trapezoidal approximation Milstein approximation;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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