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Title: Volatility filtering in estimation of kurtosis (and variance) Authors:  Stanislav Anatolyev - CERGE-EI and New Economic School (Czech Republic) [presenting]
Abstract: The kurtosis of the distribution of financial returns characterized by high volatility persistence and thick tails is notoriously difficult to estimate precisely. We propose a simple but effective procedure of estimating the kurtosis coefficient (and variance) based on volatility filtering that uses a simple GARCH model. In addition to an estimate, the proposed algorithm issues a signal of whether the kurtosis (or variance) is finite or infinite. We also show how to construct confidence intervals around the proposed estimates. Simulations indicate that the proposed estimates are much less median biased than the usual method-of-moments estimates, their confidence intervals having much more precise coverage probabilities. The procedure also works well when the underlying volatility process is not the one the filtering technique is based on. We illustrate how the algorithm works using several actual series of returns.