Parameterizing unconditional skewness in models for financial time series
In this paper we consider the third-moment structure of a class of time series models. It is often argued that the marginal distribution of financial time series such as returns is skewed. Therefore it is of importance to know what properties a model should possess if it is to accommodate unconditional skewness. We consider modelling the unconditional mean and variance using models that respond nonlinearly or asymmetrically to shocks. We investigate the implications of these models on the third-moment structure of the marginal distribution as well as conditions under which the unconditional distribution exhibits skewness and nonzero third-order autocovariance structure. In this respect, an asymmetric or nonlinear specification of the conditional mean is found to be of greater importance than the properties of the conditional variance. Several examples are discussed and, whenever possible, explicit analytical expressions provided for all third-order moments and cross-moments. Finally, we introduce a new tool, the shock impact curve, for investigating the impact of shocks on the conditional mean squared error of return series.
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