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Lux, Thomas
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Kiel Working Paper 1781
Maximum likelihood estimation of discretely observed diffusion processes is mostly hampered by the lack of a closed form solution of the transient density. It has recently been argued that a most generic remedy to this problem is the numerical solution of the pertinent Fokker-Planck (FP) or forward Kol- mogorov equation. Here we expand extant work on univariate diffusions to higher dimensions. We find that in the bivariate and trivariate cases, a numerical solution of the FP equation via alternating direction finite difference schemes yields results surprisingly close to exact maximum likelihood in a number of test cases. After providing evidence for the effciency of such a numerical approach, we illustrate its application for the estimation of a joint system of short-run and medium run investor sentiment and asset price dynamics using German stock market data.
stochastic differential equations
numerical maximum likelihood
Fokker-Planck equation
finite difference schemes
asset pricing
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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