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Volatility Forecast Comparison using Imperfect Volatility Proxies

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  • Andrew Patton

    (Duke University)

Abstract

The use of a conditionally unbiased, but imperfect, volatility proxy can lead to undesirable outcomes in standard methods for comparing conditional variance forecasts. We derive necessary and sufficient conditions on functional form of the loss function for the ranking of competing volatility forecasts to be robust to the presence of noise in the volatility proxy, and derive some interesting special cases of this class of “robust” loss functions. We motivate the theory with analytical results on the distortions caused by some widely-used loss functions, when used with standard volatility proxies such as squared returns, the intra-daily range or realised volatility. The methods are illustrated with an application to the volatility of returns on IBM over the period 1993 to 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Patton, 2006. "Volatility Forecast Comparison using Imperfect Volatility Proxies," Research Paper Series 175, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:rpaper:175
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    forecast evaluation; forecast comparison; loss functions; realised Variance; range;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • 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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