Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The opportunity cost of mean–variance choice under estimation risk

Contents:

Author Info

  • Simaan, Yusif
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Mean–variance portfolio choice is often criticized as sub-optimal in the more general expected utility framework. It is argued that the expected utility framework takes into consideration higher moments ignored by mean variance analysis. A body of research suggests that mean–variance choice, though arguably sub-optimal, provides very close-to-expected utility maximizing portfolios and their expected utilities, basing its evaluation on in-sample analysis where mean–variance choice is sub-optimal by definition. In order to clarify this existing research, this study provides a framework that allows comparing in-sample and out-of-sample performance of the mean variance portfolios against expected utility maximizing portfolios. Our in-sample results confirm the results of earlier studies. On the other hand, our out-of-sample results show that the expected utility model performs worse. The out-of-sample inferiority of the expected utility model is more pronounced for preferences and constraints under which in-sample mean variance approximations are weakest. We argue that, in addition to its elegance and simplicity, the mean–variance model extracts more information from sample data because it uses the covariance matrix of returns. The expected utility model may reach its optimal solution without using information from the covariance matrix.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221713000556
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

    Volume (Year): 234 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 382-391

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:234:y:2014:i:2:p:382-391

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor

    Related research

    Keywords: Mean–variance choice; Estimation risk; Expected utility maximization; Opportunity cost of sub-optimal portfolios;

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Hlawitschka, Walter, 1994. "The Empirical Nature of Taylor-Series Approximations to Expected Utility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 713-19, June.
    2. Kroll, Yoram & Levy, Haim & Markowitz, Harry M, 1984. " Mean-Variance versus Direct Utility Maximization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 47-61, March.
    3. Yusif Simaan, 1993. "Portfolio Selection and Asset Pricing---Three-Parameter Framework," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 39(5), pages 568-577, May.
    4. Yusif Simaan, 1993. "What is the Opportunity Cost of Mean-Variance Investment Strategies?," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 39(5), pages 578-587, May.
    5. Levy, H & Markowtiz, H M, 1979. "Approximating Expected Utility by a Function of Mean and Variance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 308-17, June.
    6. Hanoch, Giora & Levy, Haim, 1970. "Efficient Portfolio Selection with Quadratic and Cubic Utility," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 181-89, April.
    7. Arditti, Fred D & Levy, Haim, 1975. "Portfolio Efficiency Analysis in Three Moments: The Multiperiod Case," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 797-809, June.
    8. Chamberlain, Gary, 1983. "A characterization of the distributions that imply mean--Variance utility functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 185-201, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. David Stefanovits & Urs Schubiger & Mario V. Wüthrich, 2014. "Model Risk in Portfolio Optimization," Risks, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 315-348, August.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:234:y:2014:i:2:p:382-391. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.