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Do high-frequency measures of volatility improve forecasts of return distributions?

  • John M Maheu
  • Thomas H McCurdy

Many finance questions require a full characterization of the distribution of returns. We propose a bivariate model of returns and realized volatility (RV), and explore which features of that time-series model contribute to superior density forecasts over horizons of 1 to 60 days out of sample. This term structure of density forecasts is used to investigate the importance of: the intraday information embodied in the daily RV estimates; the functional form for log(RV) dynamics; the timing of information availability; and the assumed distributions of both return and log(RV) innovations. We find that a joint model of returns and volatility that features two components for log(RV) provides a good fit to S&P 500 and IBM data, and is a significant improvement over an EGARCH model estimated from daily returns.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-324.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 06 Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-324
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  17. Tae-Hwy Lee & Yong Bao & Burak Saltoğlu, 2007. "Comparing density forecast models Previous versions of this paper have been circulated with the title, 'A Test for Density Forecast Comparison with Applications to Risk Management' since October 2003;," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 203-225.
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