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Some applications of first-passage ideas to finance


  • R'emy Chicheportiche
  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud


Many problems in finance are related to first passage times. Among all of them, we chose three on which we contributed personally. Our first example relates Kolmogorov-Smirnov like goodness-of-fit tests, modified in such a way that tail events and core events contribute equally to the test (in the standard Kolmogorov-Smirnov, the tails contribute very little to the measure of goodness-of-fit). We show that this problem can be mapped onto that of a random walk inside moving walls. The second example is the optimal time to sell an asset (modelled as a random walk with drift) such that the sell time is as close as possible to the time at which the asset reaches its maximum value. The last example concerns optimal trading in the presence of transaction costs. In this case, the optimal strategy is to wait until the predictor reaches (plus or minus) a threshold value before buying or selling. The value of this threshold is found by mapping the problem onto that of a random walk between two walls.

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  • R'emy Chicheportiche & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2013. "Some applications of first-passage ideas to finance," Papers 1306.3110,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1306.3110

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-470, May.
    2. R'emy Chicheportiche & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2012. "Weighted Kolmogorov-Smirnov test: Accounting for the tails," Papers 1207.7308,, revised Oct 2012.
    3. Albert Shiryaev & Zuoquan Xu & Xun Yu Zhou, 2008. "Response to comment on 'Thou shalt buy and hold'," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(8), pages 761-762.
    4. Remy Chicheportiche & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2011. "Goodness-of-Fit tests with Dependent Observations," Papers 1106.3016,, revised Aug 2011.
    5. Albert Shiryaev & Zuoquan Xu & Xun Yu Zhou, 2008. "Thou shalt buy and hold," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(8), pages 765-776.
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