Financial density forecasts: A comprehensive comparison of risk-neutral and historical schemes

01/24/2018
by   Ricardo Crisostomo, et al.
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We investigate the forecasting ability of the most commonly used benchmarks in financial economics. We approach the usual caveats of probabilistic forecasts studies -small samples, limited models and non-holistic validations- by performing a comprehensive comparison of 15 predictive schemes during a time period of over 21 years. All densities are evaluated in terms of their statistical consistency, local accuracy and forecasting errors. Using a new indicator, the Integrated Forecast Score (IFS), we show that risk-neutral densities outperform historical-based predictions in terms of information content. We find that the Variance Gamma model generates the highest out-of-sample likelihood of observed prices and the lowest predictive errors, whereas the ARCH-based GRJ-FHS delivers the most consistent forecasts across the entire density range. In contrast, lognormal densities, the Heston model or the Breeden-Litzenberger formula yield biased predictions and are rejected in statistical tests.

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