Authors: L Hong and J Zou

Abstract: 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.
Keywords: Asset price; Black–Scholes; equity-linked annuity; variable annuity