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Nonparametric Estimation of Risk-Neutral Densities

  • Maria Grith
  • Wolfgang Karl Härdle
  • Melanie Schienle

This chapter deals with nonparametric estimation of the risk neutral density. We present three different approaches which do not require parametric functional assumptions on the underlying asset price dynamics nor on the distributional form of the risk neutral density. The first estimator is a kernel smoother of the second derivative of call prices, while the second procedure applies kernel type smoothing in the implied volatility domain. In the conceptually different third approach we assume the existence of a stochastic discount factor (pricing kernel) which establishes the risk neutral density conditional on the physical measure of the underlying asset. Via direct series type estimation of the pricing kernel we can derive an estimate of the risk neutral density by solving a constrained optimization problem. The methods are compared using European call option prices. The focus of the presentation is on practical aspects such as appropriate choice of smoothing parameters in order to facilitate the application of the techniques.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2010-021.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2010-021
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  1. Oliver Linton & Enno Mammen & N Nielsen, 2000. "The Existence and Asymptotic Properties of a Backfitting Projection Algorithm under Weak Conditions," STICERD - Econometrics Paper Series /2000/386, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  8. Fengler, Matthias R. & Härdle, Wolfgang & Mammen, Enno, 2003. "Implied volatility string dynamics," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,54, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  9. Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Jefferson Duarte, 2002. "Nonparametric Option Pricing under Shape Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 8944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Maria Grith & Wolfgang Härdle & Juhyun Park, 2009. "Shape invariant modelling pricing kernels and risk aversion," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-041, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  11. Bates, David S, 1996. "Jumps and Stochastic Volatility: Exchange Rate Processes Implicit in Deutsche Mark Options," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 69-107.
  12. Robert C. Merton, 1973. "Theory of Rational Option Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
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  14. Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8355, April.
  15. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  16. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine & Lo, Andrew W., 2000. "Nonparametric risk management and implied risk aversion," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 9-51.
  17. Jackwerth, Jens Carsten, 1999. "Option Implied Risk-Neutral Distributions and Implied Binomial Trees: A Literature Review," MPRA Paper 11634, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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