IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Scale-free tails in Colombian financial indexes: a primer


  • Carlos León



A maximum likelihood method for estimating the power-law exponent verifies that the positive and negative tails of the Colombian stock market index (IGBC) and the Colombian peso exchange rate (TRM) approximate a scale-free distribution, whereas none of the heavy tails of a local sovereign securities index (IDXTES) are a plausible case for such distribution. Results also (i) support critiques regarding the flaws of ordinary least squares estimation methods for scale-free distributions; (ii) question the validity of Zipf’s law; (iii) suggest that IGBC and TRM display the scale-free nature documented as a stylized fact of financial returns, and that they may be following a gradually truncated Lévy flight; and (v) suggest that local financial markets are self-organized systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos León, 2014. "Scale-free tails in Colombian financial indexes: a primer," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 011144, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:011144

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Freixas, Xavier & Parigi, Bruno M & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2000. "Systemic Risk, Interbank Relations, and Liquidity Provision by the Central Bank," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 611-638, August.
    2. Marsili, Matteo, 2003. "Scale invariance and criticality in financial markets," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 324(1), pages 17-24.
    3. Alejandro Reveiz Herault & Carlos Eduardo León Rincón, 2008. "Índice representativo del mercado de deuda pública interna: IDXTES," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004522, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    4. Gabaix, Xavier & Gopikrishnan, Parameswaran & Plerou, Vasiliki & Stanley, H.Eugene, 2003. "Understanding the cubic and half-cubic laws of financial fluctuations," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 324(1), pages 1-5.
    5. Carlos León & Ron J. Berndsen, 2013. "Modular scale-free architecture of Colombian financial networks: Evidence and challenges with financial stability in view," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 011104, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    6. Christoffersen, Peter, 2011. "Elements of Financial Risk Management," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123744487.
    7. N. Lesca, 2011. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00640604, HAL.
    8. Benoit Mandelbrot, 2015. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE WORLD SCIENTIFIC HANDBOOK OF FUTURES MARKETS, chapter 3, pages 39-78 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Davide Fiaschi & Imre Kondor & Matteo Marsili, 2013. "The Interrupted Power Law and The Size of Shadow Banking," Discussion Papers 2013/166, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    10. Eugene F. Fama, 1963. "Mandelbrot and the Stable Paretian Hypothesis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 420-420.
    11. C. Dominguez-Pery, 2011. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00740570, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Scale-free; power-law; Zipf’s law; financial returns.;

    JEL classification:

    • C46 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Specific Distributions
    • C58 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Financial Econometrics
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:col:000094:011144. 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: (Clorith Angélica Bahos Olivera). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.