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Horizon Problems and Extreme Events in Financial Risk Management


  • Peter F. Christoffersen
  • Francis X. Diebold
  • Til Schuermann


Central to the ongoing development of practical financial risk management methods is recognition of the fact that asset return volatility is often forecastable. Although there is no single horizon relevant for financial risk management, most would agree that in many situations the relevant horizon is quite long, certainly longer than a few days. This fact creates some tension, because although short-horizon asset return volatility is clearly highly forecastable, much less is known about long-horizon volatility forecastability, which we examine in this paper. We begin by assessing some common model-based methods for converting short-horizon volatility into long-horizon volatility; we argue that such conversions are problematic even when done properly. Hence we develop and apply a new model-free methodology to assess the forecastability of volatility across horizons and find, surprisingly, that forecastability decays rapidly as the horizon lengthens. We conclude that for managing risk at horizons longer than a few weeks, attention given to direct estimation of extreme event probabilities may be more productive than attention given to modeling volatility dynamics, and we proceed to assess the potential of extreme value theory for estimating extreme event probabilities.

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  • Peter F. Christoffersen & Francis X. Diebold & Til Schuermann, 1998. "Horizon Problems and Extreme Events in Financial Risk Management," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-16, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:98-16

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    1. Drost, Feike C & Nijman, Theo E, 1993. "Temporal Aggregation of GARCH Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 909-927, July.
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    6. Francis X. Diebold & Andrew Hickman & Atsushi Inoue & Til Schuermann, 1997. "Converting 1-Day Volatility to h-Day Volatitlity: Scaling by Root-h is Worse Than You Think," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-34, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    7. Peter F. Christoffersen & Francis X. Diebold, 2000. "How Relevant is Volatility Forecasting for Financial Risk Management?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 12-22, February.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Rubia & Trino-Manuel Ñíguez, 2006. "Forecasting the conditional covariance matrix of a portfolio under long-run temporal dependence," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 439-458.
    2. Bams, Dennis & Lehnert, Thorsten & Wolff, Christian C.P., 2005. "An evaluation framework for alternative VaR-models," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 944-958, October.
    3. Luca Erzegovesi, 2002. "VaR and Liquidity Risk.Impact on Market Behaviour and Measurement Issues," Alea Tech Reports 014, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 14 Jun 2008.
    4. Andreas Lehnert & Wayne Passmore, 1999. "Pricing systemic crises: monetary and fiscal policy when savers are uncertain," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Gregory, Allan W. & Reeves, Jonathan J., 2008. "Interpreting Value at Risk (VaR) forecasts," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 167-176, June.
    6. Douglas D. Evanoff & Larry D. Wall, 2000. "Subordinated debt and bank capital reform," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2000-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    7. Gonzalez-Rivera, Gloria & Lee, Tae-Hwy & Mishra, Santosh, 2004. "Forecasting volatility: A reality check based on option pricing, utility function, value-at-risk, and predictive likelihood," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 629-645.
    8. Christoffersen, Peter & Errunza, Vihang, 2000. "Towards a global financial architecture: capital mobility and risk management issues," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-20, May.
    9. Guidolin, Massimo & Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Term structure of risk under alternative econometric specifications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 285-308.
    10. Flavio Bazzana, 2001. "I modelli interni per la valutazione del rischio di mercato secondo l'approccio del Value at Risk," Alea Tech Reports 011, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 14 Jun 2008.
    11. Luca Spadafora & Marco Dubrovich & Marcello Terraneo, 2014. "Value-at-Risk time scaling for long-term risk estimation," Papers 1408.2462,
    12. Beverly Hirtle, 2003. "What market risk capital reporting tells us about bank risk," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 37-54.
    13. Kavussanos, Manolis G. & Dimitrakopoulos, Dimitris N., 2011. "Market risk model selection and medium-term risk with limited data: Application to ocean tanker freight markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 258-268.
    14. Ho, Lan-Chih & Burridge, Peter & Cadle, John & Theobald, Michael, 2000. "Value-at-risk: Applying the extreme value approach to Asian markets in the recent financial turmoil," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 249-275, May.
    15. McNeil, Alexander J. & Frey, Rudiger, 2000. "Estimation of tail-related risk measures for heteroscedastic financial time series: an extreme value approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3-4), pages 271-300, November.

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