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Stochastic volatility as a simple generator of apparent financial power laws and long memory

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  • B. LeBaron

Abstract

There has been renewed interest in power laws and various types of self-similarity in many financial time series. Most of these tests are visual in nature, and do not consider a wide range of possible candidate stochastic models capable of generating the observed results in small samples. This paper presents a relatively simple stochastic volatility model, which is able to produce visual power laws and long memory similar to those from actual return series using comparable sample sizes. These are small-sample features for the stochastic volatility model, since asymptotically it possesses none of these properties. The primary mechanism for this result is that volatility is assumed to have a driving process with a half life that is long relative to the tested aggregation ranges. It is argued that this might be a reasonable feature for financial, and other macroeconomic time series.

Suggested Citation

  • B. LeBaron, 2001. "Stochastic volatility as a simple generator of apparent financial power laws and long memory," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(6), pages 621-631.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:quantf:v:1:y:2001:i:6:p:621-631 DOI: 10.1088/1469-7688/1/6/304
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