Mean–variance approximations to expected utility
It is often asserted that the application of mean–variance analysis assumes normal (Gaussian) return distributions or quadratic utility functions. This common mistake confuses sufficient versus necessary conditions for the applicability of modern portfolio theory. If one believes (as does the author) that choice should be guided by the expected utility maxim, then the necessary and sufficient condition for the practical use of mean–variance analysis is that a careful choice from a mean–variance efficient frontier will approximately maximize expected utility for a wide variety of concave (risk-averse) utility functions. This paper reviews a half-century of research on mean–variance approximations to expected utility. The many studies in this field have been generally supportive of mean–variance analysis, subject to certain (initially unanticipated) caveats.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 234 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor|
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.:
- Loistl, Otto, 1976. "The Erroneous Approximation of Expected Utility by Means of a Taylor's Series Expansion: Analytic and Computational Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 904-910, December.
- Markowitz, Harry M & Usmen, Nilufer, 1996. "The Likelihood of Various Stock Market Return Distributions, Part 1: Principles of Inference," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 207-219, November.
- 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.
- Hakansson, Nils H., 1971. "Capital Growth and the Mean-Variance Approach to Portfolio Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 517-557, January.
- Grauer, Robert R., 1986. "Normality, Solvency, and Portfolio Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(03), pages 265-278, September.
- Markowitz, Harry M., 1990.
"Foundations of Portfolio Theory,"
Nobel Prize in Economics documents
1990-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
- Harry M. Markowitz, 2010. "Portfolio Theory: As I Still See It," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23, December.
- Jean, William H. & Helms, Billy P., 1983. "Geometric Mean Approximations," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 287-293, September.
- 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 308-317, June.
- Markowitz, Harry M & Usmen, Nilufer, 1996. "The Likelihood of Various Stock Market Return Distributions, Part 2: Empirical Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 221-247, November.
- Yusif Simaan, 1993. "What is the Opportunity Cost of Mean-Variance Investment Strategies?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(5), pages 578-587, May.
- Henry A. Latané & Donald L. Tuttle, 1967. "Criteria For Portfolio Building," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 22(3), pages 359-373, 09.
- 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.
- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
- Hlawitschka, Walter, 1994. "The Empirical Nature of Taylor-Series Approximations to Expected Utility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 713-719, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:234:y:2014:i:2:p:346-355. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.