IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Proper Conditioning for Coherent VaR in Portfolio Management

  • René Garcia


    (Département de Sciences Économiques, CIREQ, and CIRANO, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7)

  • Éric Renault


    (Department of Economics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, CIRANO, and CIREQ)

  • Georges Tsafack


    (Département de Sciences Économiques, CIREQ, and CIRANO, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7)

Value at risk (VaR) is a central concept in risk management. As stressed by Artzner et al. (1999, Coherent measures of risk, Math. Finance 9(3) 203-228), VaR may not possess the subadditivity property required to be a coherent measure of risk. The key idea of this paper is that, when tail thickness is responsible for violation of subadditivity, eliciting proper conditioning information may restore VaR rationale for decentralized risk management. The argument is threefold. First, since individual traders are hired because they possess a richer information on their specific market segment than senior management, they just have to follow consistently the prudential targets set by senior management to ensure that decentralized VaR control will work in a coherent way. The intuition is that if one could build a fictitious conditioning information set merging all individual pieces of information, it would be rich enough to restore VaR subadditivity. Second, in this decentralization context, we show that if senior management has access ex post to the portfolio shares of the individual traders, it amounts to recovering some of their private information. These shares can be used to improve backtesting to check that the prudential targets have been enforced by the traders. Finally, we stress that tail thickness required to violate subadditivity, even for small probabilities, remains an extreme situation because it corresponds to such poor conditioning information that expected loss appears to be infinite. We then conclude that lack of coherence of decentralized VaR management, that is VaR nonsubadditivity at the richest level of information, should be an exception rather than a rule.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 483-494

in new window

Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:3:p:483-494
Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:3:p:483-494. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.