Large Sample Behavior of the CTE and VaR Estimators under Importance Sampling

Jae Youn Ahn, Nariankadu D. Shyamalkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The α-level value at risk (Var) and the α-level conditional tail expectation (CTE) of a continuous random variable X are defined as its α-level quantile (denoted by qα) and its conditional expectation given the event (X > qα), respectively. Var is a popular risk measure in the banking sector, for both external and internal reporting purposes, while the CTE has recently become the risk measure of choice for insurance regulation in North America. Estimation of the CTE for company assets and liabilities is becoming an important actuarial exercise, and the size and complexity of these liabilities make inference procedures with good small sample performance very desirable. A common situation is one in which the CTE of the portfolio loss is estimated using simulated values, and in such situations use of variance reduction techniques such as importance sampling have proved to be fruitful. Construction of confidence intervals for the CTE relies on the availability of the asymptotic distribution of the normalized CTE estimator, and although such a result has been available to actuaries, it has so far been supported only by heuristics. The main goal of this paper is to provide an honest theorem establishing the convergence of the normalized CTE estimator under importance sampling to a normal distribution. In the process, we also provide a similar result for the Var estimator under importance sampling, which improves upon an earlier result. Also, through examples we motivate the practical need for such theoretical results and include simulation studies to lend insight into the sample sizes at which these asymptotic results become meaningful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-416
Number of pages24
JournalNorth American Actuarial Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Large Sample Behavior of the CTE and VaR Estimators under Importance Sampling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this