Testing range estimators of historical volatility

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Abstract

This study investigates the relative performance of various historical volatility estimators that incorporate daily trading range: M. Parkinson (1980), M. Garman and M. Klass (1980), L. C. G. Rogers and S. E. Satchell (1991), and D. Yang and Q. Zhang (2000). It is found that the range estimators all perform very well when an asset price follows a continuous geometric Brownian motion. However, significant differences among various range estimators are detected if the asset return distribution involves an opening jump or a large drift. By adding microstructure noise to the Monte Carlo simulation, the finding of S. Alizadeh, M. W. Brandt, and F. X. Diebold (2002)—that range estimators are fairly robust toward microstructure effects—is confirmed. An empirical test with S&P 500 index return data shows that the variances estimated with range estimators are quite close to the daily integrated variance. The empirical results support the use of range estimators for actual market data. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 26:297–313, 2006

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