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Do higher-moment equity risks explain hedge fund returns?


  • Agarwal, Vikas
  • Bakshi, Gurdip
  • Huij, Joop


Hedge funds are fundamentally exposed to equity volatility, skewness, and kurtosis risks based on the systematic pattern and significant spread in alphas from the existing models that do not control for the higher-moment risks. The spread and pattern in alphas do not disappear with bootstrap simulation, Bayesian analysis to account for potential estimation error, adjustment for backfilling bias, and the inclusion of additional systematic factors. Significant cross-sectional variation in higher-moment exposures is observed across fund styles with equity-oriented styles displaying more extreme exposures. Investable higher-moment factors explain the time series behavior of returns of a large number of Managed Futures, Event Driven, and Long/Short Equity hedge funds. Average exposure sensitivities for higher-moment factors are statistically significant in an estimation that accounts for style fixed effects and fund random effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Agarwal, Vikas & Bakshi, Gurdip & Huij, Joop, 2009. "Do higher-moment equity risks explain hedge fund returns?," CFR Working Papers 10-07, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfrwps:1007

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    Cited by:

    1. Subbiah, Mohan & Fabozzi, Frank J., 2016. "Hedge fund allocation: Evaluating parametric and nonparametric forecasts using alternative portfolio construction techniques," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 189-201.
    2. Christoffersen, Peter & Jacobs, Kris & Chang, Bo Young, 2013. "Forecasting with Option-Implied Information," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    3. Chang, Bo Young & Christoffersen, Peter & Jacobs, Kris, 2013. "Market skewness risk and the cross section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 46-68.
    4. Bali, Turan G. & Brown, Stephen J. & Caglayan, Mustafa Onur, 2012. "Systematic risk and the cross section of hedge fund returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 114-131.
    5. Agarwal, Vikas & Green, Tracy Clifton & Ren, Honglin, 2017. "Alpha or beta in the eye of the beholder: What drives hedge fund flows?," CFR Working Papers 15-08, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    6. Agarwal, Vikas & Ruenzi, Stefan & Weigert, Florian, 2015. "Tail risk in hedge funds: A unique view from portfolio holdings," CFR Working Papers 15-07, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    7. repec:eee:jfinec:v:125:y:2017:i:3:p:610-636 is not listed on IDEAS

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