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Merits and drawbacks of variance targeting in GARCH models


  • Francq, Christian
  • Horvath, Lajos
  • Zakoian, Jean-Michel


Variance targeting estimation is a technique used to alleviate the numerical difficulties encountered in the quasi-maximum likelihood (QML) estimation of GARCH models. It relies on a reparameterization of the model and a first-step estimation of the unconditional variance. The remaining parameters are estimated by QML in a second step. This paper establishes the asymptotic distribution of the estimators obtained by this method in univariate GARCH models. Comparisons with the standard QML are provided and the merits of the variance targeting method are discussed. In particular, it is shown that when the model is misspecified, the VTE can be superior to the QMLE for long-term prediction or Value-at-Risk calculation. An empirical application based on stock market indices is proposed.

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  • Francq, Christian & Horvath, Lajos & Zakoian, Jean-Michel, 2009. "Merits and drawbacks of variance targeting in GARCH models," MPRA Paper 15143, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15143

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Engle, Robert F. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1995. "Multivariate Simultaneous Generalized ARCH," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 122-150, February.
    2. L. Bauwens & J. V. K. Rombouts, 2007. "Bayesian Clustering of Many Garch Models," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 365-386.
    3. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
    4. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
    5. Lajos Horváth & Piotr Kokoszka & Ricardas Zitikis, 2006. "Sample and Implied Volatility in GARCH Models," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 4(4), pages 617-635.
    6. Carrasco, Marine & Chen, Xiaohong, 2002. "Mixing And Moment Properties Of Various Garch And Stochastic Volatility Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 17-39, February.
    7. Francq, Christian & Zako an, Jean-Michel, 2006. "Mixing Properties Of A General Class Of Garch(1,1) Models Without Moment Assumptions On The Observed Process," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(05), pages 815-834, October.
    8. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
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    More about this item


    Consistency and Asymptotic Normality; GARCH; Heteroskedastic Time Series; Quasi Maximum Likelihood Estimation; Value-at-Risk; Variance Targeting Estimator.;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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