On asymmetric generalised t stochastic volatility models

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Journal Article
Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 2012, 82 (11), pp. 2079 - 2095
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In stochastic volatility (SV) models, asset returns conditional on the latent volatility are usually assumed to have a normal, Student-t or exponential power (EP) distribution. An earlier study uses a generalised t (GT) distribution for the conditional returns and the results indicate that the GT distribution provides a better model fit to the Australian Dollar/Japanese Yen daily exchange rate than the Student-t distribution. In fact, the GT family nests a number of well-known distributions including the commonly used normal, Student-t and EP distributions. This paper extends the SV model with a GT distribution by incorporating general volatility asymmetry. We compare the empirical performance of nested distributions of the GT distribution as well as different volatility asymmetry specifications. The new asymmetric GT SV models are estimated using the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method to obtain parameter and log-volatility estimates. By using daily returns from the Standard and Poors (S&P) 500 index, we investigate the effects of the specification of error distributions as well as volatility asymmetry on parameter and volatility estimates. Results show that the choice of error distributions has a major influence on volatility estimation only when volatility asymmetry is not accounted for. © 2012 IMACS. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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