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Dissecting Characteristics Nonparametrically

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  • Joachim Freyberger
  • Andreas Neuhierl
  • Michael Weber
  • Michael Weber

Abstract

We propose a nonparametric method to study which characteristics provide incremental information for the cross section of expected returns. We use the adaptive group LASSO to select characteristics and to estimate how they affect expected returns nonparametrically. Our method can handle a large number of characteristics, allows for a flexible functional form, and our implementation is insensitive to outliers. Many of the previously identified return predictors do not provide incremental information for expected returns, and nonlinearities are important. We study the properties of our method in an extensive simulation study and out-of-sample prediction exercise and find large improvements both in model selection and prediction compared to alternative selection methods. Our proposed method has higher out-of-sample Sharpe ratios and explanatory power compared to linear panel regressions.

Suggested Citation

  • Joachim Freyberger & Andreas Neuhierl & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2018. "Dissecting Characteristics Nonparametrically," CESifo Working Paper Series 7187, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7187
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cross section of returns; anomalies; expected returns; model selection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C58 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Financial Econometrics
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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