The hypothesis that asset returns are normally distributed has been widely rejected. The literature has shown that empirical a<>set returns are highly skewed and Ieptokurtic. The affine jump-diffusion (AJD) model improves upon the normal specification by adding a jump component to the price process. Two important extensions proposed by Ramezani and Zeng (1998) and Kou (2002) further improve the AJD specification by having two jump components in the price process, resulting in the asymmetric affine jump-diffusion (AAJD) specification. The AAJD specification allows the probability distribution of the returns to be asymmetrical. That is, the tails of the distribution are allowed to have dilferent shapes and densities. The empirical literature on the "leverage effect" shows that the impact of innovations in prices on volatility is asymmetric: declines in stock prices are accompanied by larger increases in volatility than the reverse. The asymmetry in AAJD specification indirectly accounts for the leverage effect and is therefore more consistent with the empirical distributions of asset returns. As a result, the AAJD specification has been widely adopted in the portfolio choice, option pricing, and other branches of the literature. However, because of their complexity, empirical estimation of the AAJD models has received little attention to date. The primary objective of this paper is to contribute to the econometric methods for estimating the parameters of the AAJD models. Specifically, we develop a Bayesian estimation technique. We provide a comparison of the estimated parameters under the Bayesian and maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) methodologies using the S&P 500, the NASDAQ, and selected individual stocks. Focusing on the most recent spectacular market bust (2007-2009) and boom (2009-2010) periods, we examine how the parameter estimates differ under distinctly different economic conditions.


Statistics and Probability

Publisher statement

This is an electronic version of an article published in Annals of Financial Economics. Journal homepage: http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscinet/afe.



URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/stat_fac/53