Estimating the GARCH Diffusion: Simulated Maximum Likelihood in Continuous Time

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Kleppe, Tore Selland; YU, Jun; Skaug, H.
Efficient importance sampling; GARC diffusion model; Simulated Maximum likelihood; Stochastic volatility; Not Applicable; Econometrics; Finance
paper description
A new algorithm is developed to provide a simulated maximum likelihood estimation of the GARCH diffusion model of Nelson (1990) based on return data only. The method combines two accurate approximation procedures, namely, the polynomial expansion of Ait-Sahalia (2008) to approximate the transition probability density of return and volatility, and the Efficient Importance Sampler (EIS) of Richard and Zhang (2007) to integrate out the volatility. The first and second order terms in the polynomial expansion are used to generate a base-line importance density for an EIS algorithm. The higher order terms are included when evaluating the importance weights. Monte Carlo experiments show that the new method works well and the discretization error is well controlled by the polynomial expansion. In the empirical application, we fit the GARCH diffusion to equity data, perform diagnostics on the model fit, and test the finiteness of the importance weights.