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Survival, Look-Ahead Bias and the Persistence in Hedge Fund Performance


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  • Baquero, G.
  • Horst, J.R. ter
  • Verbeek, M.J.C.M.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)


Hedge funds databases are typicall subject to high attrition rates because of fund termination and self-selection.Even when all funds are included up to their last available return, one cannot prevent that ex post conditioning biases affect standard estimates of performance persistence.In this paper we analyze the persistence in the performance of U.S. hedge funds taking into account look-ahead bias (multi-period sampling bias).To do so, we model attrition of hedge funds and analyze how it depends upon historical performance.Next, we use a weighting procedure that eliminates look-ahead bias in measures for performance persistence.The results show that the impact of look-ahead bias is quitesevere, even though positive and negative survivalrelated biases are sometimes suggested to cancel out.At horizons of one and four quarters, we find clear evidence of positive persistence in hedge fund returns, also after correcting for investment style.At the two-year horizon, past winning funds tend to perform poorly in the future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2002-111.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2002111

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Keywords: hedging; performance measurement; investment trusts;

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  1. Stephen Brown & William Goetzmann, 2001. "Hedge Funds With Style," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm21, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2008.
  2. Agarwal, Vikas & Naik, Narayan Y., 2000. "Multi-Period Performance Persistence Analysis of Hedge Funds," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(03), pages 327-342, September.
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