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Mixtures of t-distributions for finance and forecasting


  • Giacomini, Raffaella
  • Gottschling, Andreas
  • Haefke, Christian
  • White, Halbert


We explore convenient analytic properties of distributions constructed as mixtures of scaled and shifted t-distributions. Particularly desirable for econometric applications are closed-form expressions for antiderivatives (e.g., the cumulative density function). We illustrate the usefulness of these distributions in two applications. In the first application, we produce density forecasts of U.S. inflation and show that these forecasts are more accurate, out-of-sample, than density forecasts obtained using normal or standard t-distributions. In the second application, we replicate the option-pricing exercise of Abadir and Rockinger [Density functionals, with an option-pricing application. Econometric Theory 19, 778-811.] and obtain comparably good results, while gaining analytical tractability.

Suggested Citation

  • Giacomini, Raffaella & Gottschling, Andreas & Haefke, Christian & White, Halbert, 2008. "Mixtures of t-distributions for finance and forecasting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 175-192, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:144:y:2008:i:1:p:175-192

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yacine Aït-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, 1998. "Nonparametric Estimation of State-Price Densities Implicit in Financial Asset Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 499-547, April.
    2. Yi-Ting Chen & Chung-Ming Kuan, 2002. "Time irreversibility and EGARCH effects in US stock index returns," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 565-578.
    3. Breeden, Douglas T & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1978. "Prices of State-contingent Claims Implicit in Option Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 621-651, October.
    4. Abadir, Karim M. & Rockinger, Michael, 2003. "Density Functionals, With An Option-Pricing Application," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(05), pages 778-811, October.
    5. Paul H. Kupiec, 1995. "Techniques for verifying the accuracy of risk measurement models," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-24, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Karim Abadir, 1999. "An introduction to hypergeometric functions for economists," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 287-330.
    7. Diebold, Francis X & Gunther, Todd A & Tay, Anthony S, 1998. "Evaluating Density Forecasts with Applications to Financial Risk Management," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 863-883, November.
    8. Melick, William R. & Thomas, Charles P., 1997. "Recovering an Asset's Implied PDF from Option Prices: An Application to Crude Oil during the Gulf Crisis," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 91-115, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karl Härdle, Wolfgang & López-Cabrera, Brenda & Teng, Huei-Wen, 2015. "State price densities implied from weather derivatives," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 106-125.
    2. Juan Carlos Martínez-Ovando & Stephen G. Walker, 2011. "Time-series Modelling, Stationarity and Bayesian Nonparametric Methods," Working Papers 2011-08, Banco de México.
    3. Chang, Kuang-Liang, 2012. "Volatility regimes, asymmetric basis effects and forecasting performance: An empirical investigation of the WTI crude oil futures market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 294-306.
    4. Haas, Markus & Liu, Ji-Chun, 2015. "Theory for a Multivariate Markov--switching GARCH Model with an Application to Stock Markets," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112855, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C45 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Neural Networks and Related Topics


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