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Selecting Copulas for Risk Management

  • Koedijk, Kees
  • Kole, Erik
  • Verbeek, Marno

Copulas offer financial risk managers a powerful tool to model the dependence between the different elements of a portfolio and are preferable to the traditional, correlation-based approach. In this paper we show the importance of selecting an accurate copula for risk management. We extend standard goodness-of-fit tests to copulas. Contrary to existing, indirect tests, these tests can be applied to any copula of any dimension and are based on a direct comparison of a given copula with observed data. For a portfolio consisting of stocks, bonds and real estate, these tests provide clear evidence in favour of the Student’s t copula, and reject both the correlation-based Gaussian copula and the extreme value-based Gumbel copula. In comparison with the Student’s t copula, we find that the Gaussian copula underestimates the probability of joint extreme downward movements, while the Gumbel copula overestimates this risk. Similarly we establish that the Gaussian copula is too optimistic on diversification benefits, while the Gumbel copula is too pessimistic. Moreover, these differences are significant.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5652.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5652
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  1. Brooks, C. & Clare, A.D. & Dalle Molle, J.W. & Persand, G., 2005. "A comparison of extreme value theory approaches for determining value at risk," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 339-352, March.
  2. Junker, Markus & Szimayer, Alex & Wagner, Niklas, 2006. "Nonlinear term structure dependence: Copula functions, empirics, and risk implications," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1171-1199, April.
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  11. Rachel Campbell & Catherine S. Forbes & Kees Koedijk & Paul Kofman, 2003. "Diversification Meltdown or the Impact of Fat tails on Conditional Correlation?," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 18/03, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  12. Longin, Francois M., 2000. "From value at risk to stress testing: The extreme value approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1097-1130, July.
  13. Bouye, Eric & Durlleman, Valdo & Nikeghbali, Ashkan & Riboulet, Gaël & Roncalli, Thierry, 2000. "Copulas for finance," MPRA Paper 37359, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  27. Markus Junker & Alexander Szimayer & Niklas Wagner, 2004. "Nonlinear Term Structure Dependence: Copula Functions, Empirics, and Risk Implications," Econometrics 0401007, EconWPA.
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