Improved estimation of the extreme value index using related variables

Hanan Ahmed, John Einmahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Heavy tailed phenomena are naturally analyzed by extreme value statistics. A crucial step in such an analysis is the estimation of the extreme value index, which describes the tail heaviness of the underlying probability distribution. We consider the situation where we have next to the n observations of interest another n + m observations of one or more related variables, like, e.g., financial losses due to earthquakes and the related amounts of energy released, for a longer period than that of the losses. Based on such a data set, we present an adapted version of the Hill estimator. For this adaptation the tail dependence between the variable of interest and the related variable(s) plays an important role. We establish the asymptotic normality of this new estimator. It shows greatly improved behavior relative to the Hill estimator, in particular the asymptotic variance is substantially reduced, whereas we can keep the asymptotic bias the same. A simulation study confirms the substantially improved performance of our adapted estimator. We also present an application to the aforementioned earthquake losses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-569
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • asymptotic normality
  • heavy tail
  • hill estimator
  • tail dependence
  • variance reduction


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