Department of Economics and Business Economics

Is the diurnal pattern sufficient to explain the intraday variation in volatility? A nonparametric assessment

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In this paper, we propose a nonparametric way to test the hypothesis that time-variation in intraday volatility is caused solely by a deterministic and recurrent diurnal pattern. We assume that noisy high-frequency data from a discretely sampled jump-diffusion process are available. The test is then based on asset returns, which are deflated by a model-free jump- and noise-robust estimate of the seasonal component and therefore homoscedastic under the null. The t-statistic (after pre-averaging and jump-truncation) diverges in the presence of stochastic volatility and has a standard normal distribution otherwise. We prove that replacing the true diurnal factor with our estimator does not affect the asymptotic theory. A Monte Carlo simulation also shows this substitution has no discernable impact in finite samples. The test is, however, distorted by small infinite-activity price jumps. To improve inference, we propose a new bootstrap approach, which leads to almost correctly sized tests of the null hypothesis. We apply the developed framework to a large cross-section of equity high-frequency data and find that the diurnal pattern accounts for a rather significant fraction of intraday variation in volatility, but important sources of heteroscedasticity remain present in the data.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherInstitut for Økonomi, Aarhus Universitet
Number of pages62
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2017
SeriesCREATES Research Papers

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