IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

When Will Mean-Variance Efficient Portfolios Be Well Diversified?


  • Green, Richard C
  • Hollifield, Burton


The authors characterize the conditions under which efficient portfolios put small weights on individual assets. These conditions bound mean returns with measures of average absolute covariability between assets. The bounds clarify the relationship between linear asset pricing models and well-diversified efficient portfolios. The authors argue that the extreme weightings in sample efficient portfolios are due to the dominance of a single factor in equity returns. This makes it easy to diversify on subsets to reduce residual risk, while weighing the subsets to reduce factor risk simultaneously. The latter involves taking extreme positions. This behavior seems unlikely to be attributable to sampling error. Copyright 1992 by American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Green, Richard C & Hollifield, Burton, 1992. " When Will Mean-Variance Efficient Portfolios Be Well Diversified?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1785-1809, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:47:y:1992:i:5:p:1785-809

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to JSTOR subscribers. See for details.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Taxation of asset income in the presence of a world securities market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
    2. Auerbach, Alan J, 1991. "Retrospective Capital Gains Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 167-178, March.
    3. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1988. "Do We Collect Any Revenue from Taxing Capital Income?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 2, pages 89-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Giovannini, Alberto & Hines Jr, James R, 1990. "Capital Flight and Tax Competition: Are there Viable Solutions to Both Problems," CEPR Discussion Papers 416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Findlay, Christopher C, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of International Income Flows," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 62(177), pages 208-214, June.
    6. Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "An Optimal Taxation Approach to Fiscal Federalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 567-586.
    7. Bond, Eric W & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Strategic Behaviour and the Rules for International Taxation of Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1099-1111, December.
    8. Razin, A. & Sadka, E., 1989. "Capital Market Integration: Issues Of International Taxation," Papers 40-89, Tel Aviv.
    9. Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    10. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
    11. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1990. "Can Direct and Indirect Taxes Be Added for International Comparisons of Competitiveness?," NBER Working Papers 3263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Gordon, Roger & Kalambokidis, Laura & Slemrod, Joel, 2004. "Do we now collect any revenue from taxing capital income?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(5), pages 981-1009, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:47:y:1992:i:5:p:1785-809. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.