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Robust performance hypothesis testing with the Sharpe ratio

Author

Listed:
  • Ledoit, Oliver
  • Wolf, Michael

Abstract

Applied researchers often test for the difference of the Sharpe ratios of two investment strategies. A very popular tool to this end is the test of Jobson and Korkie [Jobson, J.D. and Korkie, B.M. (1981). Performance hypothesis testing with the Sharpe and Treynor measures. Journal of Finance, 36:889-908], which has been corrected by Memmel [Memmel, C. (2003). Performance hypothesis testing with the Sharpe ratio. Finance Letters, 1:21-23]. Unfortunately, this test is not valid when returns have tails heavier than the normal distribution or are of time series nature. Instead, we propose the use of robust inference methods. In particular, we suggest to construct a studentized time series bootstrap confidence interval for the difference of the Sharpe ratios and to declare the two ratios different if zero is not contained in the obtained interval. This approach has the advantage that one can simply resample from the observed data as opposed to some null-restricted data. A simulation study demonstrates the improved finite sample performance compared to existing methods. In addition, two applications to real data are provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Ledoit, Oliver & Wolf, Michael, 2008. "Robust performance hypothesis testing with the Sharpe ratio," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 850-859, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:15:y:2008:i:5:p:850-859
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romano, Joseph P. & Shaikh, Azeem M. & Wolf, Michael, 2008. "Formalized Data Snooping Based On Generalized Error Rates," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 404-447, April.
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    6. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-858, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bootstrap HAC inference Sharpe ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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