What is the Best Risk Measure in Practice? A Comparison of Standard Measures
Journal of Risk 18(2), 31-60, 2015
27 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2013 Last revised: 13 Jul 2017
Date Written: January 30, 2015
Expected Shortfall (ES) has been widely accepted as a risk measure that is conceptually superior to Value-at-Risk (VaR). At the same time, however, it has been criticised for issues relating to backtesting. In particular, ES has been found not to be elicitable which means that backtesting for ES is less straightforward than, e.g., backtesting for VaR. Expectiles have been suggested as potentially better alternatives to both ES and VaR. In this paper, we revisit commonly accepted desirable properties of risk measures like coherence, comonotonic additivity, robustness and elicitability. We check VaR, ES and Expectiles with regard to whether or not they enjoy these properties, with particular emphasis on Expectiles. We also consider their impact on capital allocation, an important issue in risk management. We find that, despite the caveats that apply to the estimation and backtesting of ES, it can be considered a good risk measure. As a consequence, there is no sufficient evidence to justify an all-inclusive replacement of ES by Expectiles in applications. For backtesting ES, we propose an empirical approach that consists in replacing ES by a set of four quantiles, which should allow to make use of backtesting methods for VaR.
Keywords: Backtesting; Capital Allocation; Coherence; Diversification; Elicitability; Expected Shortfall; Expectile; Forecasts; Probability Integral Transform (PIT); Risk Measure; Risk Management; Robustnes; Value-at-Risk
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