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An Empirical Characteristic Function Approach to VaR under a Mixture of Normal Distribution with Time-Varying Volatility

  • Dinghai Xu

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

  • Tony S. Wirjanto

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

This paper considers Value at Risk measures constructed under a discrete mixture of normal distribution on the innovations with time-varying volatility, or MN-GARCH, model. We adopt an approach based on the continuous empirical characteristic function to estimate the param eters of the model using several daily foreign exchange rates' return data. This approach has several advantages as a method for estimating the MN-GARCH model. In particular, under certain weighting measures, a closed form objective distance function for estimation is obtained. This reduces the computational burden considerably. In addition, the characteristic function, unlike its likelihood function counterpart, is always uniformly bounded over parameter space due to the Fourier transformation. To evaluate the VaR estimates obtained from alternative specifications, we construct several measures, such as the number of violations, the average size of violations, the sum square of violations and the expected size of violations. Based on these measures, we find that the VaR measures obtained from the MN-GARCH model outperform those obtained from other competing models.

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Paper provided by University of Waterloo, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08008.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wat:wpaper:08008
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  1. Christoffersen, Peter F, 1998. "Evaluating Interval Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 841-62, November.
  2. Bai, Xuezheng & Russell, Jeffrey R. & Tiao, George C., 2003. "Kurtosis of GARCH and stochastic volatility models with non-normal innovations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 349-360, June.
  3. Knight, John L. & Yu, Jun, 2002. "Empirical Characteristic Function In Time Series Estimation," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 691-721, June.
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  5. Jose A. Lopez, 1998. "Methods for evaluating value-at-risk estimates," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 119-124.
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  8. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-70, March.
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  10. G. William Schwert, 1988. "Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change Over Time?," NBER Working Papers 2798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Vlaar, Peter J G & Palm, Franz C, 1993. "The Message in Weekly Exchange Rates in the European Monetary System: Mean Reversion, Conditional Heteroscedasticity, and Jumps," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(3), pages 351-60, July.
  12. Gray, Stephen F., 1996. "Modeling the conditional distribution of interest rates as a regime-switching process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-62, September.
  13. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
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