Evaluating multivariate volatility forecasts : how effective are statistical and economic loss functions?

Doolan, Mark Bernard (2011) Evaluating multivariate volatility forecasts : how effective are statistical and economic loss functions? PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Multivariate volatility forecasts are an important input in many financial applications, in particular portfolio optimisation problems. Given the number of models available and the range of loss functions to discriminate between them, it is obvious that selecting the optimal forecasting model is challenging. The aim of this thesis is to thoroughly investigate how effective many commonly used statistical (MSE and QLIKE) and economic (portfolio variance and portfolio utility) loss functions are at discriminating between competing multivariate volatility forecasts. An analytical investigation of the loss functions is performed to determine whether they identify the correct forecast as the best forecast. This is followed by an extensive simulation study examines the ability of the loss functions to consistently rank forecasts, and their statistical power within tests of predictive ability. For the tests of predictive ability, the model confidence set (MCS) approach of Hansen, Lunde and Nason (2003, 2011) is employed. As well, an empirical study investigates whether simulation findings hold in a realistic setting. In light of these earlier studies, a major empirical study seeks to identify the set of superior multivariate volatility forecasting models from 43 models that use either daily squared returns or realised volatility to generate forecasts. This study also assesses how the choice of volatility proxy affects the ability of the statistical loss functions to discriminate between forecasts. Analysis of the loss functions shows that QLIKE, MSE and portfolio variance can discriminate between multivariate volatility forecasts, while portfolio utility cannot. An examination of the effective loss functions shows that they all can identify the correct forecast at a point in time, however, their ability to discriminate between competing forecasts does vary. That is, QLIKE is identified as the most effective loss function, followed by portfolio variance which is then followed by MSE. The major empirical analysis reports that the optimal set of multivariate volatility forecasting models includes forecasts generated from daily squared returns and realised volatility. Furthermore, it finds that the volatility proxy affects the statistical loss functions’ ability to discriminate between forecasts in tests of predictive ability. These findings deepen our understanding of how to choose between competing multivariate volatility forecasts.

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ID Code: 45750
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Clements, Adam & Hurn, Aubrey
Keywords: multivariate volatility forecasts, volatility forecast evaluation, statistical loss functions, economic loss functions, portfolio optimisation, model confidence set, multivariate realised volatility
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 06 Sep 2011 06:34
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2011 06:34

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