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Unbiased QML Estimation of Log-GARCH Models in the Presence of Zero Returns

Alvaro Escribano () and Genaro Sucarrat

UC3M Working papers. Economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía

Abstract: A critique that has been directed towards the log-GARCH model is that its logvolatility specification does not exist in the presence of zero returns. A common "remedy" is to replace the zeros with a small (in the absolute sense) non-zero value. However, this renders Quasi Maximum Likelihood (QML) estimation asymptotically biased. Here, we propose a solution to the case where actual returns are equal to zero with probability zero, but zeros nevertheless are observed because of measurement error (due to missing values, discreteness approximisation error, etc.). The solution treats zeros as missing values and handles these by combining QML estimation via the ARMA representation with the Expectation-maximisation (EM) algorithm. Monte Carlo simulations confirm that the solution corrects the bias, and several empirical applications illustrate that the biascorrecting estimator can make a substantial difference.

Keywords: ARCH; Exponential; GARCH; Log-GARCH; ARMA; Expectation-Maximization; (EM) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C22 C58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-09-01
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