In this paper we develop tests for the hypothesis that a series (observed in discrete time) is generated by a diffusion process and discuss the results of these tests for several exchange rates and stock market indices. The tests of this hypothesis that have been proposed up to now in literature are all based on arbitrary and non-testable assumptions on the conditional distribution of the smooth component of the series. Instead, our tests are based on the weaker assumption that the series is weak GARCH; this hypothesis can easily be tested. To investigate the presence of jumps, we propose a test that is based on an overidentifying relation between variance and kurtosis parameters at an arbitrary frequency, which holds for GARCH diffusions. Monte Carlo evidence suggests that this test is slightly conservative, but nevertheless it has good power properties. The empirical results clearly indicate the presence of jumps in dollar exchange rates. For stock market indices the results are mixed. The finding of jumps has important consequences for derivative pricing as well as for modeling the distribution of future spot prices. In order to assess the size and intensity of the jumps, we estimate a model containing both jumps and conditional heteroskedasticity.
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|
|Name||CentER Discussion Paper|