n South African Actuarial Journal - Jump tests for semimartingales

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1680-2179



This paper aims to introduce jump tests to the actuarial community. In actuarial science, semimartingales are extensively used in the models for interest rates, options, variable annuities and equity-linked annuities. Those models usually assume without justification that the underlying asset process follows a continuous stochastic process such as a geometric Brownian motion, for the market data sometimes tell a different story. Choosing between a continuous model and a model with jumps is not only important for pricing of insurance products but also crucial for implementing other post-sales risk management measures such as dynamic liability hedging. A test for jumps allows actuaries to rigorously test whether the underlying asset process has jumps, which is the first critical step in model selection. The ability to conduct the test should thus belong to the repertoire of every expert and practitioner working in this field. In this paper, we review several major tests for jumps, describe their advantages and disadvantages, and offer suggestions for their implementation. We also implement several tests using real data, enabling practitioners to apply these tests in their work.

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