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Why Do Absolute Returns Predict Volatility So Well?

  • Lars Forsberg
  • Eric Ghysels
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    Our objective is volatility forecasting, which is core to many risk management problems. We provide theoretical explanations for (i) the empirical stylized fact recognized at least since Taylor (1986) and Ding, Granger, and Engle (1993) that absolute returns show more persistence than squared returns and (ii) the empirical finding reported in recent work by Ghysels, Santa-Clara, and Valkanov (2006) showing that realized absolute values outperform square return-based volatility measures in predicting future increments in quadratic variation. We start from a continuous time stochastic volatility model for asset returns suggested by Barndorff-Nielsen and Shephard (2001) and study the persistence and linear regression properties of various volatility-related processes either observed directly or with sampling error. We also allow for jumps in the asset return processes and investigate their impact on persistence and linear regression. Extensive empirical results complement the theoretical analysis. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jjfinec/nbl010
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    Article provided by Society for Financial Econometrics in its journal Journal of Financial Econometrics.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 31-67

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:jfinec:v:5:y:2007:i:1:p:31-67
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    1. Patton, Andrew J., 2011. "Volatility forecast comparison using imperfect volatility proxies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 160(1), pages 246-256, January.
    2. Bollerslev, T. & Ghysels, E., 1994. "Periodic Autoregressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity," Cahiers de recherche 9408, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    3. Anderson, Torben G. & Bollerslev, Tim & Diebold, Francis X. & Labys, Paul, 2002. "Modeling and Forecasting Realized Volatility," Working Papers 02-12, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    4. Daniel B. Nelson, 1994. "Asymptotically Optimal Smoothing with ARCH Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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).
    6. Taylor, Stephen J. & Xu, Xinzhong, 1997. "The incremental volatility information in one million foreign exchange quotations," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 317-340, December.
    7. Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen & Neil Shephard, 2001. "Non-Gaussian Ornstein-Uhlenbeck-based models and some of their uses in financial economics," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 63(2), pages 167-241.
    8. Andreou, Elena & Ghysels, Eric, 2002. "Rolling-Sample Volatility Estimators: Some New Theoretical, Simulation, and Empirical Results," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(3), pages 363-76, July.
    9. Lars Forsberg & Tim Bollerslev, 2002. "Bridging the gap between the distribution of realized (ECU) volatility and ARCH modelling (of the Euro): the GARCH-NIG model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 535-548.
    10. Andersen, Torben G & Bollerslev, Tim, 1998. "Answering the Skeptics: Yes, Standard Volatility Models Do Provide Accurate Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 885-905, November.
    11. Ding, Zhuanxin & Granger, Clive W. J. & Engle, Robert F., 1993. "A long memory property of stock market returns and a new model," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106, June.
    12. Andersen T. G & Bollerslev T. & Diebold F. X & Labys P., 2001. "The Distribution of Realized Exchange Rate Volatility," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 42-55, March.
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