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Pitfalls and Opportunities in the Use of Extreme Value Theory in Risk Management

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  • Francis X. Diebold
  • Til Schuermann
  • John D. Stroughair

Abstract

Recent literature has trumpeted the claim that extreme value theory (EVT) holds promise for accurate estimation of extreme quantiles and tail probabilities of financial asset returns, and hence holds promise for advances in the management of extreme financial risks. Our view, based on a disinterested assessment of EVT from the vantage point of financial risk management, is that the recent optimism is partly appropriate but also partly exaggerated, and that at any rate much of the potential of EVT remains latent. We substantiate this claim by sketching a number of pitfalls associated with use of EVT techniques. More constructively, we show how certain of the pitfalls can be avoided, and we sketch a number of explicit research directions that will help the potential of EVT to be realized.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis X. Diebold & Til Schuermann & John D. Stroughair, 1998. "Pitfalls and Opportunities in the Use of Extreme Value Theory in Risk Management," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-10, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:98-10
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    1. Diebold & Lopez, "undated". "Modeling Volatility Dynamics," Home Pages _062, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Einmahl, J.H.J., 1990. "The empirical distribution function as a tail estimator," Other publications TiSEM 08014dbd-2d84-43e5-ad47-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Jón Daníelsson & Casper G. de Vries, 1998. "Beyond the Sample: Extreme Quantile and Probability Estimation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-016/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Bollerslev, Tim & Chou, Ray Y. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1992. "ARCH modeling in finance : A review of the theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 5-59.
    5. Engle, Robert F & Gonzalez-Rivera, Gloria, 1991. "Semiparametric ARCH Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(4), pages 345-359, October.
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