The Role of Realized Ex-post Covariance Measures and Dynamic Model Choice on the Quality of Covariance Forecasts

Recently, consistent measures of the ex-post covariation of financial assets based on noisy high-frequency data have been proposed. A related strand of literature focuses on dynamic models and covariance forecasting for high-frequency data based covariance measures. The aim of this paper is to in… vestigate whether more sophisticated estimation approaches lead to more precise covariance forecasts, both in a statistical precision sense and in terms of economic value. A further issue we address, is the relative importance of the quality of the realized measure as an input in a given forecasting model vs. the model’s dynamic specification. The main finding is that the largest gains result from switching from daily to high-frequency data. Further gains are achieved if a simple sparsesampling covariance measure is replaced with a more efficient and noise-robust estimator.