A visual criterion for identifying Ito diffusions as martingales or strict local martingales

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Conference Proceeding
Seminar on Stochastic Analysis, Random Fields and Applications VI, 2011, pp. 147 - 157
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It is often important, in applications of stochastic calculus to financial modelling, to know whether a given local martingale is a martingale or a strict local martingale. We address this problem in the context of a time-homogenous diffusion process with a finite lower boundary, presented as the solution of a driftless stochastic differential equation. Our main theorem demonstrates that the question of whether or not this process is a martingale may be decided simply by examining the slope of a certain increasing function. Further results establish the connection between our theorem and other results in the literature, while a number of examples are provided to illustrate the use of our criterion.
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