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A Multifractal Model of Asset Returns

  • Benoit Mandelbrot

    (Yale Univ. & IBM T.J. Watson Research Center)

  • Adlai Fisher
  • Laurent Calvet

This paper presents the multifractal model of asset returns ("MMAR"), based upon the pioneering research into multifractal measures by Mandelbrot (1972, 1974). The multifractal model incorporates two elements of Mandelbrot's past research that are now well-known in finance. First, the MMAR contains long-tails, as in Mandelbrot (1963), which focused on Levy-stable distributions. In contrast to Mandelbrot (1963), this model does not necessarily imply infinite variance. Second. the model contains long-dependence, the characteristic feature of fractional Brownian Motion (FBM), introduced by Mandelbrot and van Ness (1968). In contrast to FBM, the multifractal model displays long dependence in the absolute value of price increments, while price increments themselves can be uncorrelated. As such, the MMAR is an alternative to ARCH-type representations that have been the focus of empirical research on the distribution of prices for the past fifteen years. The distinguishing feature of the multifractal model is multi-scaling of the return distribution's moments under time-rescalings. We define multiscaling, show how to generate processes with this property, and discuss how these processes differ from the standard processes of continuous-time finance. The multifractal model implies certain empirical regularities, which are investigated in a companion paper.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d11b/d1164.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1164.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1164
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Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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  1. Ghysels, E. & Harvey, A. & Renault, E., 1995. "Stochastic Volatility," Papers 95.400, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  2. Drost, F.C. & Werker, B.J.M., 1994. "Closing the GARCH gap : Continuous time GARCH modeling," Discussion Paper 1994-2, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Adlai Fisher & Laurent Calvet & Benoit Mandelbrot, 1997. "Multifractality of Deutschemark/US Dollar Exchange Rates," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1166, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Baillie, Richard T., 1996. "Long memory processes and fractional integration in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 5-59, July.
  5. Eugene F. Fama, 1963. "Mandelbrot and the Stable Paretian Hypothesis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 420.
  6. Drost, F.C. & Nijman, T.E., 1992. "Temporal aggregation of GARCH processes," Discussion Paper 1992-40, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Werker, B.J.M. & Drost, F.C., 1996. "Closing the GARCH gap : Continuous time GARCH modeling," Other publications TiSEM c3d29817-403a-4ad1-9295-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  8. Laurent Calvet & Adlai Fisher & Benoit Mandelbrot, 1997. "Large Deviations and the Distribution of Price Changes," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1165, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Eric Ghysels & Christian Gouriéroux & Joanna Jasiak, 1995. "Trading Patterns, Time Deformation and Stochastic Volatility in Foreign Exchange Markets," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-42, CIRANO.
  10. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
  11. Bollerslev, Tim & Engle, Robert F. & Nelson, Daniel B., 1986. "Arch models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2959-3038 Elsevier.
  12. Koedijk, Kees G & Kool, Clemens J M, 1992. "Tail Estimates of East European Exchange Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(1), pages 83-96, January.
  13. Clark, Peter K, 1973. "A Subordinated Stochastic Process Model with Finite Variance for Speculative Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(1), pages 135-55, January.
  14. Drost, F.C. & Nijman, T.E., 1993. "Temporal aggregation of GARCH processes," Other publications TiSEM 0642fb61-c7f4-4281-b484-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  15. 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.
  16. Ghysels, E. & Gourieroux, C. & Jasiak, J., 1995. "Market Time and Asset Price Movements: Theory and Estimation," Cahiers de recherche 9536, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  17. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
  18. Dacorogna, Michael M. & Muller, Ulrich A. & Nagler, Robert J. & Olsen, Richard B. & Pictet, Olivier V., 1993. "A geographical model for the daily and weekly seasonal volatility in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 413-438, August.
  19. 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.
  20. Benoit Mandelbrot, 1963. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 394.
  21. Baillie, Richard T. & Bollerslev, Tim & Mikkelsen, Hans Ole, 1996. "Fractionally integrated generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 3-30, September.
  22. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-70, March.
  23. Benoit Mandelbrot, 1967. "The Variation of Some Other Speculative Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40, pages 393.
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