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Semi-parametric estimation of joint large movements of risky assets

By Alexandra Dias


The classical approach to modelling the occurrence of joint large movements of asset returns is to assume multivariate normality for the distribution of asset returns. This implies independence between large returns. However, it is now recognised by both academics and practitioners that large movements of assets returns do not occur independently. This fact encourages the modelling joint large movements of asset returns as non-normal, a non trivial task mainly due to the natural scarcity of such extreme events.\ud This paper shows how to estimate the probability of joint large movements of asset prices using a semi-parametric approach borrowed from extreme value theory (EVT). It helps to understand the contribution of individual assets to large portfolio losses in terms of joint large movements. The advantages of this approach are that it does not require the assumption of a specific parametric form for the dependence structure of the joint large movements, avoiding the model misspecification; it addresses specifically the scarcity of data which is a problem for the reliable fitting of fully parametric models; and it is applicable to portfolios of many assets: there is no dimension explosion.\ud The paper includes an empirical analysis of international equity data showing how to implement semi-parametric EVT modelling and how to exploit its strengths to help understand the probability of joint large movements. We estimate the probability of joint large losses in a portfolio composed of the FTSE 100, Nikkei 250 and S&P 500 indices. Each of the index returns is found to be heavy tailed. The S&P 500 index has a much stronger effect on large portfolio losses than the FTSE 100, although having similar univariate tail heaviness

Topics: HG
Publisher: Warwick Business School, Financial Econometrics Research Centre
Year: 2008
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