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Empirical distributions of stock returns: European securities markets, 1990-95

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  • Felipe Aparicio
  • Javier Estrada

Abstract

The assumption that daily stock returns are normally distributed has long been disputed by the data. In this article the normality assumption is tested (and clearly rejected) using time series of daily stock returns for 13 European securities markets. More importantly, four alternative specifications are fitted to the data, overall support is found for the scaled- t distribution (and partial support for a mixture of two Normal distributions), and the magnitude of the error that stems from predicting returns by using the Normal distribution is quantified. Data also show that normality may be a plausible assumption for monthly (but not for daily) stock returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Felipe Aparicio & Javier Estrada, 2001. "Empirical distributions of stock returns: European securities markets, 1990-95," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 1-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjfi:v:7:y:2001:i:1:p:1-21
    DOI: 10.1080/13518470121786
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. S. James Press, 1967. "A Compound Events Model for Security Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40, pages 317-317.
    2. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-370, March.
    3. Blattberg, Robert C & Gonedes, Nicholas J, 1974. "A Comparison of the Stable and Student Distributions as Statistical Models for Stock Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 244-280, April.
    4. Praetz, Peter D, 1972. "The Distribution of Share Price Changes," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 49-55, January.
    5. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
    6. Clark, Peter K, 1973. "A Subordinated Stochastic Process Model with Finite Variance for Speculative Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(1), pages 135-155, January.
    7. Bollerslev, Tim & Chou, Ray Y. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1992. "ARCH modeling in finance : A review of the theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 5-59.
    8. Engle, Robert F & Lilien, David M & Robins, Russell P, 1987. "Estimating Time Varying Risk Premia in the Term Structure: The Arch-M Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 391-407, March.
    9. Benoit Mandelbrot, 2015. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE WORLD SCIENTIFIC HANDBOOK OF FUTURES MARKETS, chapter 3, pages 39-78 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Landsman, Zinoviy, 2010. "On the Tail Mean-Variance optimal portfolio selection," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 547-553, June.
    2. Robert Chirinko & Hisham Foad, 2006. "Noise vs. News in Equity Returns," CESifo Working Paper Series 1812, CESifo Group Munich.

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