3:30 p.m., Friday

Math 100

Dilip B. Madan

Robert H. Smith School of Business

University of Maryland

Levy Processes in Financial Modeling

We investigate the relative importance of diffusion and jumps in a new jump diffusion model for asset returns. In contrast to the standard modelling of jumps for asset returns, the jump component of our process can display finite or infinite activity, and finite or infinite variation. Empirical investigations of time series indicate that index dynamics are essentially devoid of a diffusion component, while this component may be present in the dynamics of individual stocks. This result leads to the conjecture that the risk-neutral process should be free of a diffusion component for both indices and individual stocks. Empirical investigation of options data tends to confirm this conjecture. We conclude that the statistical and risk-neutral processes for indices and stocks tend to be pure jump processes of infinite activity and finite variation.

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