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Minimum-variance kernels, economic risk premia, and tests of multi-beta models


  • Pierluigi Balduzzi
  • Cesare Robotti


This paper uses minimum-variance (MV) admissible kernels to estimate risk premia associated with economic risk variables and to test multi-beta models. Estimating risk premia using MV kernels is appealing because it avoids the need to 1) identify all relevant sources of risk and 2) assume a linear factor model for asset returns. Testing multi-beta models in terms of restricted MV kernels has the advantage that 1) the candidate kernel has the smallest volatility and 2) test statistics are easy to interpret in terms of Sharpe ratios. The authors find that several economic variables command significant risk premia and that the signs of the premia mostly correspond to the effect that these variables have on the risk-return trade-off, consistent with the implications of the intertemporal capital asset pricing model (I-CAPM). They also find that the MV kernel implied by the I-CAPM, while formally rejected by the data, consistently outperforms a pricing kernel based on the size and book-to-market factors of Fama and French (1993).

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  • Pierluigi Balduzzi & Cesare Robotti, 2001. "Minimum-variance kernels, economic risk premia, and tests of multi-beta models," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2001-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2001-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lorenzo Cappiello & Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, 2008. "Estimates of foreign exchange risk premia: a pricing kernel approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 475-495, November.
    2. van den Goorbergh, R.W.J. & de Roon, F.A. & Werker, B.J.M., 2003. "Economic Hedging Portfolios," Discussion Paper 2003-102, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Cesare Robotti, 2001. "The price of inflation and foreign exchange risk in international equity markets," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2001-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    4. van den Goorbergh, R.W.J., 2004. "Essays on optimal hedging and investment strategies and on derivative pricing," Other publications TiSEM 4b4b16af-8621-463f-bbfa-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Robotti, Cesare, 2008. "Mimicking Portfolios, Economic Risk Premia, and Tests of Multi-Beta Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 354-368.

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    Risk ; Asset pricing ; Econometric models;

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