Aggregational Gaussianity and Barely Infinite Variance in Financial Returns
22 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2012
Date Written: September 28, 2011
This paper aims at reconciling two apparently contradictory empirical regularities of financial returns, namely, the fact that the empirical distribution of returns tends to normality as the frequency of observation decreases (aggregational Gaussianity) combined with the fact that the conditional variance of high frequency returns seems to have a (fractional) unit root, in which case the unconditional variance is infinite. We provide evidence that aggregational Gaussianity and infinite variance can coexist, provided that all the moments of the unconditional distribution whose order is less than two exist. The latter characterizes the case of Integrated and Fractionally Integrated GARCH processes. Finally, we discuss testing for aggregational Gaussianity under barely infinite variance. Our empirical motivation derives from commodity prices and stock indices, while our results are relevant for financial returns in general.
Keywords: Aggregational Gausianity, infinite variance, FIGARCH, financial returns
JEL Classification: C10, G12, Q14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation