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Statistical arbitrage with vine copulas


  • Stübinger, Johannes
  • Mangold, Benedikt
  • Krauss, Christopher


We develop a multivariate statistical arbitrage strategy based on vine copulas - a highly flexible instrument for linear and nonlinear multivariate dependence modeling. In an empirical application on the S&P 500, we find statistically and economically significant returns of 9.25 percent p.a. and a Sharpe ratio of 1.12 after transaction costs for the period from 1992 until 2015. Tail risk is limited, with maximum drawdown at 6.57 percent. The high returns can only partially be explained by common sources of systematic risk. We benchmark the vine copula strategy against other variants relying on the multivariate Gaussian and t-distribution and we find its results to be superior in terms of risk and return characteristics. The multivariate dependence structure of the vine copulas is time-varying, and we see that the share of copulas capable of modeling upper and lower tail dependence increases well over 90 percent at times of high market turmoil.

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  • Stübinger, Johannes & Mangold, Benedikt & Krauss, Christopher, 2016. "Statistical arbitrage with vine copulas," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 11/2016, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:112016

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    1. Weiß, Gregor N.F. & Supper, Hendrik, 2013. "Forecasting liquidity-adjusted intraday Value-at-Risk with vine copulas," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3334-3350.
    2. Aas, Kjersti & Czado, Claudia & Frigessi, Arnoldo & Bakken, Henrik, 2009. "Pair-copula constructions of multiple dependence," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 182-198, April.
    3. Matthias Fischer & Christian Kock & Stephan Schluter & Florian Weigert, 2009. "An empirical analysis of multivariate copula models," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(7), pages 839-854.
    4. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 2015. "A five-factor asset pricing model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 1-22.
    5. Perlin, M., 2007. "M of a kind: A Multivariate Approach at Pairs Trading," MPRA Paper 8309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Evan Gatev & William N. Goetzmann & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2006. "Pairs Trading: Performance of a Relative-Value Arbitrage Rule," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 797-827.
    7. Dißmann, J. & Brechmann, E.C. & Czado, C. & Kurowicka, D., 2013. "Selecting and estimating regular vine copulae and application to financial returns," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 52-69.
    8. Niall Whelan, 2004. "Sampling from Archimedean copulas," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 339-352.
    9. Fortin, Ines & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2002. "Tail-Dependence in Stock-Return Pairs," Economics Series 126, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    10. Mangold, Benedikt, 2017. "A multivariate rank test of independence based on a multiparametric polynomial copula," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 10/2015, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    11. Marco Avellaneda & Jeong-Hyun Lee, 2010. "Statistical arbitrage in the US equities market," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(7), pages 761-782.
    12. Brechmann, Eike & Czado, Claudia & Paterlini, Sandra, 2014. "Flexible dependence modeling of operational risk losses and its impact on total capital requirements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 271-285.
    13. Kotz,Samuel & Nadarajah,Saralees, 2004. "Multivariate T-Distributions and Their Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521826549, April.
    14. Low, Rand Kwong Yew & Alcock, Jamie & Faff, Robert & Brailsford, Timothy, 2013. "Canonical vine copulas in the context of modern portfolio management: Are they worth it?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3085-3099.
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    Cited by:

    1. Endres, Sylvia & Stübinger, Johannes, 2017. "Optimal trading strategies for Lévy-driven Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 17/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    2. Stübinger, Johannes & Endres, Sylvia, 2017. "Pairs trading with a mean-reverting jump-diffusion model on high-frequency data," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 10/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    3. Stübinger, Johannes, 2018. "Statistical arbitrage with optimal causal paths on high-frequencydata of the S&P 500," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 01/2018, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.

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    finance; statistical arbitrage; pairs trading; quantitative strategies; copulas;

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