Canadian Journal of Statistics

A robust prediction error criterion for pareto modelling of upper tails

Journal Article


Estimation of the Pareto tail index from extreme order statistics is an important problem in many settings. The upper tail of the distribution, where data are sparse, is typically fitted with a model, such as the Pareto model, from which quantities such as probabilities associated with extreme events are deduced. The success of this procedure relies heavily not only on the choice of the estimator for the Pareto tail index but also on the procedure used to determine the number k of extreme order statistics that are used for the estimation. The authors develop a robust prediction error criterion for choosing k and estimating the Pareto index. A Monte Carlo study shows the good performance of the new estimator and the analysis of real data sets illustrates that a robust procedure for selection, and not just for estimation, is needed.

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