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Title: Essays on volatility forecasting and density estimation
Author: Lu, Shan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 0828
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis studies two subareas within the forecasting literature: volatility forecasting and risk-neutral density estimation and asks the question of how accurate volatility forecasts and risk-neutral density estimates can be made based on the given information. Two sources of information are employed to make those forecasts: historical information contained in time series of asset prices, and forward-looking information embedded in prices of traded options. Chapter 2 tests the comparative performance of two volatility scaling laws - the square-root-of-time (√T) and an empirical law, TH, characterized by the Hurst exponent (H) - where volatility is measured by sample standard deviation of returns, for forecasting the volatility term structure of crude oil price changes and ten foreign currency changes. We find that the empirical law is overall superior for crude oil, whereas the selection of a superior model is currency-specific and relative performance substantially differs across currencies. Our results are particularly important for regulatory risk management using Value-at-Risk and suggest the use of empirical law for volatility and quantile scaling. Chapter 3 studies the predictive ability of corridor implied volatility (CIV) measure. By adding CIV measures to the modified GARCH specifications, we show that narrow and mid-range CIVs outperform the wide CIVs, market volatility index and the BlackScholes implied volatility for horizons up to 21 days under various market conditions. Results of simulated trading reinforce our statistical findings. Chapter 4 compares six estimation methods for extracting risk-neutral densities (RND) from option prices. By using a pseudo-price based simulation, we find that the positive convolution approximation method provides the best performance, while mixture of two lognormals is the worst; In addition, we show that both price and volatility jumps are important components for option pricing. Our results have practical applications for policymakers as RNDs are important indicators to gauge market sentiment and expectations.
Supervisor: Jin, Xin ; Phimister, Euan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Finance ; Monte Carlo method ; Financial risk management