Research articles for the 2021-05-04

A game theoretical approach to homothetic robust forward investment performance processes in stochastic factor models
Juan Li,Wenqiang Li,Gechun Liang

This paper studies an optimal forward investment problem in an incomplete market with model uncertainty, in which the underlying stocks depend on the correlated stochastic factors. The uncertainty stems from the probability measure chosen by an investor to evaluate the performance. We obtain directly the representation of the homothetic robust forward performance processes in factor-form by combining the zero-sum stochastic differential game and ergodic BSDE approach. We also establish the connections with the risk-sensitive zero-sum stochastic differential games over an infinite horizon with ergodic payoff criteria, as well as with the classical robust expected utilities for long time horizons. Finally, we give an example to illustrate that our approach can be applied to address a type of robust forward investment performance processes with negative realization processes.

Business analytics meets artificial intelligence: Assessing the demand effects of discounts on Swiss train tickets
Martin Huber,Jonas Meier,Hannes Wallimann

We assess the demand effects of discounts on train tickets issued by the Swiss Federal Railways, the so-called `supersaver tickets', based on machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence. Considering a survey-based sample of buyers of supersaver tickets, we investigate which customer- or trip-related characteristics (including the discount rate) predict buying behavior, namely: booking a trip otherwise not realized by train, buying a first- rather than second-class ticket, or rescheduling a trip (e.g.\ away from rush hours) when being offered a supersaver ticket. Predictive machine learning suggests that customer's age, demand-related information for a specific connection (like departure time and utilization), and the discount level permit forecasting buying behavior to a certain extent. Furthermore, we use causal machine learning to assess the impact of the discount rate on rescheduling a trip, which seems relevant in the light of capacity constraints at rush hours. Assuming that (i) the discount rate is quasi-random conditional on our rich set of characteristics and (ii) the buying decision increases weakly monotonically in the discount rate, we identify the discount rate's effect among `always buyers', who would have traveled even without a discount, based on our survey that asks about customer behavior in the absence of discounts. We find that on average, increasing the discount rate by one percentage point increases the share of rescheduled trips by 0.16 percentage points among always buyers. Investigating effect heterogeneity across observables suggests that the effects are higher for leisure travelers and during peak hours when controlling several other characteristics.

Dynamic Quantile Function Models
Wilson Ye Chen,Gareth W. Peters,Richard H. Gerlach,Scott A. Sisson

Motivated by the need for effectively summarising, modelling, and forecasting the distributional characteristics of intra-daily returns, as well as the recent work on forecasting histogram-valued time-series in the area of symbolic data analysis, we develop a time-series model for forecasting quantile-function-valued (QF-valued) daily summaries for intra-daily returns. We call this model the dynamic quantile function (DQF) model. Instead of a histogram, we propose to use a $g$-and-$h$ quantile function to summarise the distribution of intra-daily returns. We work with a Bayesian formulation of the DQF model in order to make statistical inference while accounting for parameter uncertainty; an efficient MCMC algorithm is developed for sampling-based posterior inference. Using ten international market indices and approximately 2,000 days of out-of-sample data from each market, the performance of the DQF model compares favourably, in terms of forecasting VaR of intra-daily returns, against the interval-valued and histogram-valued time-series models. Additionally, we demonstrate that the QF-valued forecasts can be used to forecast VaR measures at the daily timescale via a simple quantile regression model on daily returns (QR-DQF). In certain markets, the resulting QR-DQF model is able to provide competitive VaR forecasts for daily returns.

Home advantage and crowd attendance: Evidence from rugby during the Covid 19 pandemic
Federico Fioravanti,Fernando Delbianco,Fernando Tohmé

The COVID-19 pandemic forced almost all professional and amateur sports to be played without attending crowds. Thus, it induced a large-scale natural experiment on the impact of social pressure on decision making and behavior in sports fields. Using a data set of 1027 rugby union matches from 11 tournaments in 10 countries, we find that home teams have won less matches and their points difference decreased during the pandemics, shedding light on the impact of crowd attendance on the {\em home advantage} of sports teams.

How cumulative is technological knowledge?
P.G.J. Persoon,R.N.A. Bekkers,F. Alkemade

Technological cumulativeness is considered one of the main mechanisms for technological progress, yet its exact meaning and dynamics often remain unclear. To develop a better understanding of this mechanism we approach a technology as a body of knowledge consisting of interlinked inventions. Technological cumulativeness can then be understood as the extent to which inventions build on other inventions within that same body of knowledge. The cumulativeness of a technology is therefore characterized by the structure of its knowledge base, which is different from, but closely related to, the size of its knowledge base. We analytically derive equations describing the relation between the cumulativeness and the size of the knowledge base. In addition, we empirically test our ideas for a number of selected technologies, using patent data. Our results suggest that cumulativeness increases proportionally with the size of the knowledge base, at a rate which varies considerably across technologies. At the same time we find that across technologies, this rate is inversely related to the rate of invention over time. This suggests that the cumulativeness increases relatively slow in rapidly growing technologies. In sum, the presented approach allows for an in-depth, systematic analysis of cumulativeness variations across technologies and the knowledge dynamics underlying technology development.

How the 'Auction Cube' Supports the Selection of Auction Designs in Industrial Procurement
Gregor Berz,Florian Rupp,Brian Sieben

It is well known that rightly applied reverse auctions offer big commercial potential to procurement departments. However, the sheer number of auction types often overwhelms users in practice. And since the implications of a wrongly chosen auction type are equally well known, the overall usage of reverse auctions lacks its potential significantly. In this paper, a novel method is being proposed that guides the user in selecting the right combination of basic auction forms for single lot events, considering both market-, as well as supplier-related, bijective criteria.

If it Looks like a Human and Speaks like a Human ... Dialogue and cooperation in human-robot interactions
Mario A. Maggioni,Domenico Rossignoli

The paper presents the results of a behavioral experiment conducted between February 2020 and March 2021 at Universit\`a Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan Campus in which students were matched to either a human or a humanoid robotic partner to play an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. The results of a Logit estimation procedure show that subjects are more likely to cooperate with human rather robotic partners; that are more likely to cooperate after receiving a dialogic verbal reaction following the realization of a sub-obtimal social outcome; that the effect of the verbal reaction is independent on the nature of the partner. Our findings provide new evidence on the effect of verbal communication in strategic frameworks. Results are robust to the exclusion of students of Economics related subjects, to the inclusion of a set of psychological and behavioral controls, to the way subjects perceive robots' behavior and to potential gender biases in human-human interactions.

JDOI Variance Reduction Method and the Pricing of American-Style Options
Johan Auster,Ludovic Mathys,Fabio Maeder

The present article revisits the Diffusion Operator Integral (DOI) variance reduction technique originally proposed in Heath and Platen (2002) and extends its theoretical concept to the pricing of American-style options under (time-homogeneous) L\'evy stochastic differential equations. The resulting Jump Diffusion Operator Integral (JDOI) method can be combined with numerous Monte Carlo based stopping-time algorithms, including the ubiquitous least-squares Monte Carlo (LSMC) algorithm of Longstaff and Schwartz (cf. Carriere (1996), Longstaff and Schwartz (2001)). We exemplify the usefulness of our theoretical derivations under a concrete, though very general jump-diffusion stochastic volatility dynamics and test the resulting LSMC based version of the JDOI method. The results provide evidence of a strong variance reduction when compared with a simple application of the LSMC algorithm and proves that applying our technique on top of Monte Carlo based pricing schemes provides a powerful way to speed-up these methods.

Market Potential for CO$_2$ Removal and Sequestration from Renewable Natural Gas Production in California
Jun Wong,Jonathan Santoso,Marjorie Went,Daniel Sanchez

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Sequestration (BECCS) is critical for stringent climate change mitigation, but is commercially and technologically immature and resource-intensive. In California, state and federal fuel and climate policies can drive first-markets for BECCS. We develop a spatially explicit optimization model to assess niche markets for renewable natural gas (RNG) production with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) from waste biomass in California. Existing biomass residues produce biogas and RNG and enable low-cost CCS through the upgrading process and CO$_2$ truck transport. Under current state and federal policy incentives, we could capture and sequester 2.9 million MT CO$_2$/year (0.7% of California's 2018 CO$_2$ emissions) and produce 93 PJ RNG/year (4% of California's 2018 natural gas demand) with a profit maximizing objective. Existing federal and state policies produce profits of \$11/GJ. Distributed RNG production with CCS potentially catalyzes markets and technologies for CO$_2$ capture, transport, and storage in California.

Multivariate tempered stable additive subordination for financial models
Patrizia Semeraro

We study a class of multivariate tempered stable distributions and introduce the associated class of tempered stable Sato subordinators. These Sato subordinators are used to build additive inhomogeneous processes by subordination of a multiparameter Brownian motion. The resulting process is additive and time inhomogeneous. Furthermore, these processes are associated with the distribution at unit time of a class of L\'evy process with good fit properties on fifinancial data. The main feature of the Sato subordinated Brownian motion is that it has time dependent correlation, whereas the L\'evy counterpart does not. We provide a numerical illustration of the correlation dynamics.

On Wholesale Electricity Prices and Market Values in a Carbon-Neutral Energy System
Diana Böttger,Philipp Härtel

Climate and energy policy targets of the European Commission aim to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. For low-carbon and net-neutral energy systems primarily based on variable renewable power generation, issues related to the market integration, cannibalisation of revenues, and cost recovery of wind and solar photovoltaics have become major concerns. The traditional discussion of the merit-order effect expects wholesale power prices in a system with 100 % renewable energy sources to alternate between very high and very low values. Unlike previous work, we present a structured and technology-specific analysis of the cross-sectoral demand bidding effect for the price formation in low-carbon power markets. Starting from a stylised market arrangement and by successively augmenting it with all relevant technologies, we construct and quantify the cross-sectoral demand bidding effects in future European power markets with the cross-sectoral market modelling framework SCOPE SD. As the main contribution, we explain and substantiate the market clearing effects of new market participants in detail. Hereby, we put a special focus on hybrid heat supply systems consisting of combined heat and power plant, fuel boiler, thermal storage and electrical back up and derive the opportunity costs of these systems. Furthermore, we show the effects of cross-border integration for a large-scale European net-neutral energy scenario. Finally, the detailed information on market clearing effects allows us to evaluate the resulting revenues of all major technology categories on future electricity markets.

Relationship among state reopening policies, health outcomes and economic recovery through first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S
Alexandre K. Ligo,Emerson Mahoney,Jeffrey Cegan,Benjamin D. Trump,Andrew S. Jin,Maksim Kitsak,Jesse Keenan,Igor Linkov

State governments in the U.S. have been facing difficult decisions involving tradeoffs between economic and health-related outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite evidence of the effectiveness of government-mandated restrictions mitigating the spread of contagion, these orders are stigmatized due to undesirable economic consequences. This tradeoff resulted in state governments employing mandates at widely different ways. We compare the different policies states implemented during periods of restriction ("lockdown") and reopening with indicators of COVID-19 spread and consumer card spending at each state during the first "wave" of the pandemic in the U.S. between March and August 2020. We find that while some states enacted reopening decisions when the incidence rate of COVID-19 was minimal or sustained in its relative decline, other states relaxed socioeconomic restrictions near their highest incidence and prevalence rates experienced so far. Nevertheless, all states experienced similar trends in consumer card spending recovery, which was strongly correlated with reopening policies following the lockdowns and relatively independent from COVID-19 incidence rates at the time. Our findings suggest that consumer card spending patterns can be attributed to government mandates rather than COVID-19 incidence in the states. This result highlights the important role of state policies in minimizing health impacts while promoting economic recovery and helps planning effective interventions in subsequent waves and immunization efforts.

Reputational Bargaining with Ultimatum Opportunities
Mehmet Ekmekci,Hanzhe Zhang

We study two-sided reputational bargaining with opportunities to issue an ultimatum -- threats to force dispute resolution. Each player is either a justified type, who never concedes and issues an ultimatum whenever an opportunity arrives, or an unjustified type, who can concede, wait, or bluff with an ultimatum. In equilibrium, the presence of ultimatum opportunities can harm or benefit a player by decelerating or accelerating reputation building. When only one player can issue an ultimatum, equilibrium play is unique. The hazard rate of dispute resolution is discontinuous and piecewise monotonic in time. As the probabilities of being justified vanish, agreement is immediate and efficient, and if the set of justifiable demands is rich, payoffs modify Abreu and Gul (2000), with the discount rate replaced by the ultimatum opportunity arrival rate if the former is smaller. When both players' ultimatum opportunities arrive sufficiently fast, there may exist multiple equilibria in which their reputations do not build up and negotiation lasts forever.

Scenario-based Risk Evaluation
Ruodu Wang,Johanna F. Ziegel

Risk measures such as Expected Shortfall (ES) and Value-at-Risk (VaR) have been prominent in banking regulation and financial risk management. Motivated by practical considerations in the assessment and management of risks, including tractability, scenario relevance and robustness, we consider theoretical properties of scenario-based risk evaluation. We propose several novel scenario-based risk measures, including various versions of Max-ES and Max-VaR, and study their properties. We establish axiomatic characterizations of scenario-based risk measures that are comonotonic-additive or coherent and an ES-based representation result is obtained. These results provide a theoretical foundation for the recent Basel III & IV market risk calculation formulas. We illustrate the theory with financial data examples.

Stress testing and systemic risk measures using multivariate conditional probability
Tomaso Aste

The multivariate conditional probability distribution models the effects of a set of variables onto the statistical properties of another set of variables. In the study of systemic risk in a financial system, the multivariate conditional probability distribution can be used for stress-testing by quantifying the propagation of losses from a set of `stressing' variables to another set of `stressed' variables. In this paper I describe how to compute such conditional probability distributions for the vast family of multivariate elliptical distributions, and in particular for the multivariate Student-t and the multivariate Normal distributions. Measures of stress impact and systemic risk are proposed. An application to the US equity market illustrates the potentials of this approach.

Why and how systematic strategies decay
Antoine Falck,Adam Rej,David Thesmar

In this paper, we propose ex-ante characteristics that predict the drop in risk-adjusted performance out-of-sample for a large set of stock anomalies published in finance and accounting academic journals. Our set of predictors is generated by hypotheses of OOS decay put forward by McLean and Pontiff (2016): arbitrage capital flowing into newly published strategies and in-sample overfitting linked to multiple hypothesis testing. The year of publication alone - compatible with both hypotheses - explains 30% of the variance of Sharpe decay across factors: Every year, the Sharpe decay of newly-published factors increases by 5ppt. The other important variables are directly related to overfitting: the number of operations required to calculate the signal and two measures of sensitivity of in-sample Sharpe to outliers together add another 15% of explanatory power. Some arbitrage-related variables are statistically significant, but their predictive power is marginal.