This paper proposes computational framework for empirical estimation of Financial Agent-Based Models (FABMs) that does not rely upon restrictive theoretical assumptions. We customise a recent methodology of the Non-Parametric Simulated Maximum Likelihood Estimator (NPSMLE) based on kernel methods by Kristensen and Shin (2012) and elaborate its capability for FABMs estimation purposes. To start with, we apply the methodology to the popular and widely analysed model of Brock and Hommes (1998). We extensively test finite sample properties of the estimator via Monte Carlo simulations and show that important theoretical features of the estimator, the consistency and asymptotic efficiency, also hold in small samples for the model. We also verify smoothness of the simulated log-likelihood function and identification of parameters. Main empirical results of our analysis are the statistical insignificance of the switching coefficient but markedly significant belief parameters defining heterogeneous trading regimes with an absolute superiority of trend-following over contrarian strategies and a slight proportional dominance of fundamentalists over trend following chartists.
heterogeneous agent model heterogeneous expectations behavioural finance intensity of choice switching non-parametric simulated maximum likelihood estimator