Applied Economics, Vol. 51, Issue 31, pp. 3345-3364, 2019

Asymmetry and Leverage in GARCH Models: A News Impact Curve Perspective

Models for conditional heteroskedasticity belonging to the GARCH class are now common tools in many economics and finance applications. Among the many possible competing univariate GARCH models, one of the most interesting groups allows for the presence of the so-called asymmetry or leverage effect. In our view, asymmetry and leverage are two distinct phenomena, both inspired by the seminal work of Black in 1976. We propose definitions of leverage and asymmetry that build on the News Impact Curve, allowing to easily and coherently verify if they are both present. We show that several GARCH models are asymmetric but none is allowing for a proper leverage effect. Finally, we extend the leverage definition to a local leverage effect and show that the AGARCH model is coherent with the presence of local leverage. An empirical analysis completes the paper.