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Approximating the probability distribution of functions of random variables: A new approach


  • Eric Ghysels
  • Anders Eriksson Lars Forsberg


We introduce a new approximation method for the distribution of functions of random variables that are real-valued. The approximation involves moment matching and exploits properties of the class of normal inverse Gaussian distributions. In the paper we we examine the how well the different approximation methods can capture the tail behavior of a function of random variables relative each other. This is obtain done by simulate a number functions of random variables and then investigate the tail behavior for each method. Further we also focus on the regions of unimodality and positive definiteness of the different approximation methods. We show that the new method provides equal or better approximations than Gram-Charlier and Edgeworth expansio

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  • Eric Ghysels & Anders Eriksson Lars Forsberg, 2004. "Approximating the probability distribution of functions of random variables: A new approach," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 503, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:503

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    Cited by:

    1. Hainaut, Donatien, 2016. "Impact of volatility clustering on equity indexed annuities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 367-381.
    2. Puzanova, Natalia & Siddiqui, Sikandar & Trede, Mark, 2009. "Approximate value-at-risk calculation for heterogeneous loan portfolios: Possible enhancements of the Basel II methodology," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 374-392, December.
    3. Lillestøl, Jostein, 2007. "Some new bivariate IG and NIG-distributions for modelling covariate nancial returns," Discussion Papers 2007/1, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.

    More about this item


    Approximation of random variables;

    JEL classification:

    • C0 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General

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