Fat Tails and Asymmetry in Financial Volatility Models
Although the GARCH model has been quite successful in capturing important empirical aspects of financial data, particularly for the symmetric effects of volatility, it has had far less success in capturing the effects of extreme observations, outliers and skewness in returns. This paper examines the GARCH model under various non-normal error distributions in order to evaluate skewness and leptokurtosis. The empirical results show that GARCH models estimated using asymmetric leptokurtic distributions are superior to their counterparts estimated under normality, in terms of: (i) capturing skewness and leptokurtosis; (ii) the maximized log-likelihood values; and (iii) isolating the ARCH and GARCH parameter estimates from the adverse effects of outliers. Overall, the flexible asymmetric Student-t distribution performs best in terms of capturing the non-normal aspects of the data.
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