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Volatility Forecasts Using Nonlinear Leverage Effects

Kenichiro McAlinn, Asahi Ushio and Teruo Nakatsuma

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Abstract: The leverage effect-- the correlation between an asset's return and its volatility-- has played a key role in forecasting and understanding volatility and risk. While it is a long standing consensus that leverage effects exist and improve forecasts, empirical evidence paradoxically do not show that most individual stocks exhibit this phenomena, mischaracterizing risk and therefore leading to poor predictive performance. We examine this paradox, with the goal to improve density forecasts, by relaxing the assumption of linearity in the leverage effect. Nonlinear generalizations of the leverage effect are proposed within the Bayesian stochastic volatility framework in order to capture flexible leverage structures, where small fluctuations in prices have a different effect from large shocks. Efficient Bayesian sequential computation is developed and implemented to estimate this effect in a practical, on-line manner. Examining 615 stocks that comprise the S\&P500 and Nikkei 225, we find that relaxing the linear assumption to our proposed nonlinear leverage effect function improves predictive performances for 89\% of all stocks compared to the conventional model assumption.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fmk
Date: 2016-05, Revised 2017-12
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