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Improved Portfolio Choice using Second-Order Stochastic Dominance


  • James E. Hodder

    () (University of Wisconsin-Madinson)

  • Jens Carsten Jackwerth

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

  • Olga Kolokolova

    () (University of Manchester, United Kingdom)


We examine the use of second-order stochastic dominance as both a way to measure performance and also as a technique for constructing portfolios. Using in-sample data, we construct portfolios such that their second-order stochastic dominance over a typical pension fund benchmark is most probable. The empirical results based on 21 years of daily data suggest that this portfolio choice technique significantly outperforms the benchmark portfolio out-of-sample. As a preference-free technique it will also suit any risk-averse investor in e.g. a pension fund. Moreover, its out-of-sample performance across eight different measures is superior to widely discussed portfolio choice approaches such as equal weights, mean variance, and minimum-variance methods.

Suggested Citation

  • James E. Hodder & Jens Carsten Jackwerth & Olga Kolokolova, 2010. "Improved Portfolio Choice using Second-Order Stochastic Dominance," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2010-14, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1014

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fishburn, Peter C, 1977. "Mean-Risk Analysis with Risk Associated with Below-Target Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 116-126, March.
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    1. repec:eee:empfin:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:250-269 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Daskalaki, Charoula & Skiadopoulos, George & Topaloglou, Nikolas, 2017. "Diversification benefits of commodities: A stochastic dominance efficiency approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 250-269.
    3. Thierry Post & Milos Kopa, 2015. "Portfolio Choice based on Third-degree Stochastic Dominance, With an Application to Industry Momentum," KoƧ University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1527, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    4. Cristiano Arbex Valle & Diana Roman & Gautam Mitra, 2017. "Novel approaches for portfolio construction using second order stochastic dominance," Computational Management Science, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 257-280, April.
    5. Bruni, Renato & Cesarone, Francesco & Scozzari, Andrea & Tardella, Fabio, 2017. "On exact and approximate stochastic dominance strategies for portfolio selection," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 259(1), pages 322-329.
    6. Zhou, Zhongbao & Xiao, Helu & Yin, Jialing & Zeng, Ximei & Lin, Ling, 2016. "Pre-commitment vs. time-consistent strategies for the generalized multi-period portfolio optimization with stochastic cash flows," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 187-202.
    7. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:2:p:675-685 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    second-order stochastic dominance; portfolio choice; portfolio measurement;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G - Financial Economics

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