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Course# FIN-607: Empirical Asset Pricing

Summary

This class is designed to give you an understanding of the basics of empirical asset pricing. This means that we will learn how to test asset pricing models and apply them mostly to stock markets. We will see which theories fare well and which ones do not.

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Fixed-point theorem

In mathematics, a fixed-point theorem is a result saying that a function F will have at least one fixed point (a point x for which F(x) = x), under some conditions on F that can be stated in general terms. The Banach fixed-point theorem (1922) gives a general criterion guaranteeing that, if it is satisfied, the procedure of iterating a function yields a fixed point.

Volatility (finance)

In finance, volatility (usually denoted by σ) is the degree of variation of a trading price series over time, usually measured by the standard deviation of logarithmic returns. Historic volatility measures a time series of past market prices. Implied volatility looks forward in time, being derived from the market price of a market-traded derivative (in particular, an option).

Bellman equation

A Bellman equation, named after Richard E. Bellman, is a necessary condition for optimality associated with the mathematical optimization method known as dynamic programming. It writes the "value" of a decision problem at a certain point in time in terms of the payoff from some initial choices and the "value" of the remaining decision problem that results from those initial choices. This breaks a dynamic optimization problem into a sequence of simpler subproblems, as Bellman's “principle of optimality" prescribes.

Dynamic programming

Dynamic programming is both a mathematical optimization method and an algorithmic paradigm. The method was developed by Richard Bellman in the 1950s and has found applications in numerous fields, from aerospace engineering to economics. In both contexts it refers to simplifying a complicated problem by breaking it down into simpler sub-problems in a recursive manner. While some decision problems cannot be taken apart this way, decisions that span several points in time do often break apart recursively.

Integral

In mathematics, an integral is the continuous analog of a sum, which is used to calculate areas, volumes, and their generalizations. Integration, the process of computing an integral, is one of the two fundamental operations of calculus, the other being differentiation. Integration started as a method to solve problems in mathematics and physics, such as finding the area under a curve, or determining displacement from velocity. Today integration is used in a wide variety of scientific fields.

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