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Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Stochastic Volatility Models

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  • Yacine Ait-Sahalia
  • Robert Kimmel

Abstract

We develop and implement a new method for maximum likelihood estimation in closed-form of stochastic volatility models. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we compare a full likelihood procedure, where an option price is inverted into the unobservable volatility state, to an approximate likelihood procedure where the volatility state is replaced by the implied volatility of a short dated at-the-money option. We find that the approximation results in a negligible loss of accuracy. We apply this method to market prices of index options for several stochastic volatility models, and compare the characteristics of the estimated models. The evidence for a general CEV model, which nests both the affine model of Heston (1993) and a GARCH model, suggests that the elasticity of variance of volatility lies between that assumed by the two nested models.

Suggested Citation

  • Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Robert Kimmel, 2004. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Stochastic Volatility Models," NBER Working Papers 10579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10579
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bollerslev, Tim & Gibson, Michael & Zhou, Hao, 2011. "Dynamic estimation of volatility risk premia and investor risk aversion from option-implied and realized volatilities," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 160(1), pages 235-245, January.
    2. Arnaud Gloter, 2007. "Efficient estimation of drift parameters in stochastic volatility models," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 495-519, October.
    3. Peter Christoffersen & Kris Jacobs & Karim Mimouni, 2007. "Models for S&P500 Dynamics: Evidence from Realized Volatility, Daily Returns, and Option Prices," CREATES Research Papers 2007-37, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

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    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General

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