Open Access
August 2019 Maximum likelihood estimators based on the block maxima method
Clément Dombry, Ana Ferreira
Bernoulli 25(3): 1690-1723 (August 2019). DOI: 10.3150/18-BEJ1032


The extreme value index is a fundamental parameter in univariate Extreme Value Theory (EVT). It captures the tail behavior of a distribution and is central in the extrapolation beyond observations. Among other semi-parametric methods (such as the popular Hill estimator), the Block Maxima (BM) and Peaks-Over-Threshold (POT) methods are widely used for assessing the extreme value index and related normalizing constants. We provide asymptotic theory for the maximum likelihood estimators (MLE) based on the BM method for independent and identically distributed observations in the max-domain of attraction of some extreme value distribution. Our main result is the asymptotic normality of the MLE with a non-trivial bias depending on the extreme value index and on the so-called second-order parameter. Our approach combines asymptotic expansions of the likelihood process and of the empirical quantile process of block maxima. The results permit to complete the comparison of common semi-parametric estimators in EVT (MLE and probability weighted moment estimators based on the POT or BM methods) through their asymptotic variances, biases and optimal mean square errors.


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Clément Dombry. Ana Ferreira. "Maximum likelihood estimators based on the block maxima method." Bernoulli 25 (3) 1690 - 1723, August 2019.


Received: 1 February 2017; Revised: 1 March 2018; Published: August 2019
First available in Project Euclid: 12 June 2019

zbMATH: 07066236
MathSciNet: MR3961227
Digital Object Identifier: 10.3150/18-BEJ1032

Keywords: asymptotic normality , block maxima method , extreme value index , maximum likelihood estimator , peaks-over-threshold method , probability weighted moment estimator

Rights: Copyright © 2019 Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability

Vol.25 • No. 3 • August 2019
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