IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Diversification Meltdown or the Impact of Fat tails on Conditional Correlation?


  • Rachel Campbell
  • Catherine S. Forbes


  • Kees Koedijk
  • Paul Kofman


A perceived increase in correlation during turbulent market conditions implies a reduction in the benefits arising from portfolio diversification. Unfortunately, it is exactly then that these benefits are most needed. To determine whether diversification truly breaks down, we investigate the robustness of a popular conditional correlation estimator against alternative distributional assumptions. Analytical results show that the apparent meltdown in the benefits from diversification could be a consequence of assuming normally distributed returns. A more realistic assumption - the bivariate Student-t distribution - suggests that constant correlation may be sustained over the full support of the multivariate return distribution

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:msh:ebswps:2003-18

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Terasvirta, T & Anderson, H M, 1992. "Characterizing Nonlinearities in Business Cycles Using Smooth Transition Autoregressive Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages 119-136, Suppl. De.
    2. Lee, Tae-Hwy & White, Halbert & Granger, Clive W. J., 1993. "Testing for neglected nonlinearity in time series models : A comparison of neural network methods and alternative tests," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 269-290, April.
    3. Elliott, Graham & Timmermann, Allan, 2004. "Optimal forecast combinations under general loss functions and forecast error distributions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 47-79, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Marco Sorge, 2004. "Stress-testing financial systems: an overview of current methodologies," BIS Working Papers 165, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Kole, Erik & Koedijk, Kees & Verbeek, Marno, 2007. "Selecting copulas for risk management," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2405-2423, August.
    3. Kole, H.J.W.G. & Koedijk, C.G. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 2003. "Stress Testing with Student's t Dependence," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2003-056-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    4. Sorge, Marco & Virolainen, Kimmo, 2006. "A comparative analysis of macro stress-testing methodologies with application to Finland," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 113-151, June.
    5. Albuquerque, Rui & Vega, Clara, 2006. "Asymmetric Information in the Stock Market: Economic News and Co-movement," CEPR Discussion Papers 5598, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Kole, Erik & Koedijk, Kees & Verbeek, Marno, 2006. "Portfolio implications of systemic crises," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2347-2369, August.

    More about this item


    Conditional correlation; Truncated correlation; Bivariate Student-t correlation.;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

    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:msh:ebswps:2003-18. 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: (Dr Xibin Zhang). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.