Bayesian inference and model comparison for asymmetric smooth transition heteroskedastic models

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Inference, quantile forecasting and model comparison for an asymmetric double smooth transition heteroskedastic model is investigated. A Bayesian framework in employed and an adaptive Markov chain Monte Carlo scheme is designed. A mixture prior is proposed that alleviates the usual identifiability problem as the speed of transition parameter tends to zero, and an informative prior for this parameter is suggested, that allows for reliable inference and a proper posterior, despite the non-integrability of the likelihood function. A formal Bayesian posterior model comparison procedure is employed to compare the proposed model with its two limiting cases: the double threshold GARCH and symmetric ARX GARCH models. The proposed methods are illustrated using both simulated and international stock market return series. Some illustrations of the advantages of an adaptive sampling scheme for these models are also provided. Finally, Bayesian forecasting methods are employed in a Value-at-Risk study of the international return series. The results generally favour the proposed smooth transition model and highlight explosive and smooth nonlinear behaviour in financial markets.

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