Modeling Cross Correlation Across Major Financial Markets: A Threshold Approach

34 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2016  

Nektarios Aslanidis

Universitat Rovira Virgili

Oscar Martinez

Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Date Written: February 8, 2016


We propose the threshold conditional correlation (TCC) model that allows for regime changes in the correlations between financial assets. According to this methodolody the dynamics of the correlations change from one state (or regime) to another as a function of observable transition variable(s). The TCC is similar in spirit to a smooth transition conditional correlation but with the appealing feature that it is easier to estimate, even in a high dimensional setting. In particular, estimation of the parameters of the TCC involves a grid search-QMLE method in which the correlation matrix is positive definite by construction. Furthermore, Monte Carlo experiments show the proposed model generally does not suffer from a serious bias even for very large cross-sections (N=100). The methodology is illustrated by evaluating the behaviour of international equities and government bonds, first separately and then jointly. We further generalize our approach by allowing for different parts in the correlation matrix to have their own transition mechanism, while at the same time guaranteeing that the resulting correlation matrix is positive definite. Finally, we evaluate the out-of-sample economic performance of the TCC model against the popular dynamic conditional correlation (DCC) model by using the Engle-Colacito (2006) test and in terms of density forecasts. The results show that threshold model with four regimes outperforms the DCC, mainly in the recent global financial crisis a period with significant shifts in the level of correlations.

Keywords: Threshold Conditional Correlations, Correlation Targeting, Transition Variables, International Equity and Bond Correlations, Density Forecasts

JEL Classification: C14, C58, G10

Suggested Citation

Aslanidis, Nektarios and Martinez, Oscar, Modeling Cross Correlation Across Major Financial Markets: A Threshold Approach (February 8, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Nektarios Aslanidis (Contact Author)

Universitat Rovira Virgili ( email )


Oscar Martinez

Universitat Rovira i Virgili ( email )

Campus Sescelades, Carretera de Valls s/n
43006 Tarragona, Tarragona 43007

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