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Increasing correlations or just fat tails?


  • Campbell, Rachel A.J.
  • Forbes, Catherine S.
  • Koedijk, Kees G.
  • Kofman, Paul


Increasing correlation during turbulent market conditions implies a reduction in portfolio diversification benefits. We investigate the robustness of recent empirical results that indicate a breakdown in the correlation structure by deriving theoretical truncated and exceedance correlations using alternative distributional assumptions. Analytical results show that the increase in conditional correlation could be a result of assuming conditional normality for the return distribution. When assuming a popular alternative distribution - the bivariate Student-tr - we find significantly less support for an increase in conditional correlation and conclude that this is due to the presence of fat tails when assuming normality in the return distribution.

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  • Campbell, Rachel A.J. & Forbes, Catherine S. & Koedijk, Kees G. & Kofman, Paul, 2008. "Increasing correlations or just fat tails?," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 287-309, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:15:y:2008:i:2:p:287-309

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Baur, Dirk G. & Dimpfl, Thomas & Jung, Robert C., 2012. "Stock return autocorrelations revisited: A quantile regression approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 254-265.
    2. Mittnik, Stefan, 2014. "VaR-implied tail-correlation matrices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 69-73.
    3. Chester Curme & Michele Tumminello & Rosario N. Mantegna & H. Eugene Stanley & Dror Y. Kenett, 2015. "Emergence of statistically validated financial intraday lead-lag relationships," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(8), pages 1375-1386, August.
    4. Palmroos, Peter, 2009. "Effects of unobserved defaults on correlation between probability of default and loss given on mortgage loans," Research Discussion Papers 3/2009, Bank of Finland.
    5. Brière, Marie & Chapelle, Ariane & Szafarz, Ariane, 2012. "No contagion, only globalization and flight to quality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1729-1744.
    6. Ni, Zhong-Xin & Wang, Da-Zhong & Xue, Wen-Jun, 2015. "Investor sentiment and its nonlinear effect on stock returns—New evidence from the Chinese stock market based on panel quantile regression model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 266-274.
    7. Tjøstheim, Dag & Hufthammer, Karl Ove, 2013. "Local Gaussian correlation: A new measure of dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 172(1), pages 33-48.
    8. Krämer, Walter & van Kampen, Maarten, 2011. "A simple nonparametric test for structural change in joint tail probabilities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 245-247, March.
    9. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7746 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Daniel Bartz & Kerr Hatrick & Christian W. Hesse & Klaus-Robert Muller & Steven Lemm, 2011. "Directional Variance Adjustment: improving covariance estimates for high-dimensional portfolio optimization," Papers 1109.3069,, revised Mar 2012.
    11. Nicolai Bissantz & Daniel Ziggel & Kathrin Bissantz, 2011. "An Empirical Study of Correlation and Volatility Changes of Stock Indices and their Impact on Risk Figures," Acta Universitatis Danubius. OEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 4(4), pages 127-141, August.
    12. Kris Boudt & Jon Danielsson & Siem Jan Koopman & Andre Lucas, 2012. "Regime switches in the volatility and correlation of financial institutions," Working Paper Research 227, National Bank of Belgium.
    13. Gębka, Bartosz & Wohar, Mark E., 2013. "The determinants of quantile autocorrelations: Evidence from the UK," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 51-61.
    14. Kaiser, Jonas & Krämer, Walter, 2011. "A cautionary note on computing conditional from unconditional correlations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 176-179, May.
    15. Jacobs, Michael & Karagozoglu, Ahmet K., 2014. "On the characteristics of dynamic correlations between asset pairs," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 60-82.
    16. Tse, Chi K. & Liu, Jing & Lau, Francis C.M., 2010. "A network perspective of the stock market," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 659-667, September.
    17. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6804 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Paulo Sergio Ceretta & Marcelo Brutti Righi & Alexandre Silva Da costa & Fernanda Maria Muller, 2012. "Quantiles autocorrelation in stock markets returns," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2065-2075.
    19. Gospodinov, Nikolay, 2017. "Asset Co-movements: Features and Challenges," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2017-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    20. Dror Y. Kenett & Xuqing Huang & Irena Vodenska & Shlomo Havlin & H. Eugene Stanley, 2014. "Partial correlation analysis: Applications for financial markets," Papers 1402.1405,
    21. Dominik Wied & Matthias Arnold & Nicolai Bissantz & Daniel Ziggel, 2012. "A new fluctuation test for constant variances with applications to finance," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 75(8), pages 1111-1127, November.
    22. Galeano, Pedro & Wied, Dominik, 2014. "Multiple break detection in the correlation structure of random variables," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 262-282.
    23. Chang, Kuang-Liang, 2014. "The symmetrical and positive relationship between crude oil and nominal exchange rate returns," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 266-284.
    24. Becker, Christoph & Schmidt, Wolfgang M., 2015. "How past market movements affect correlation and volatility," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 78-107.

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