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Testing the new Fama and French factors with illiquidity: A panel data investigation

François-Éric Racicot (), William F. Rentz and Raymond Théoret

Finance, 2018, vol. 39, issue 3, 45-102

Abstract: We investigate the new Fama-French (FF, 2015, 2016) five factors augmented with a well-known illiquidity measure (P?stor and Stambaugh, 2003), using an innovative GMM robust instrumental variables estimator casted in a panel data framework. When using OLS, the augmented FF model seems to have explanatory power regarding the FF 12-sector returns. However, our panel data framework suggests that the only consistently significant factor is the market risk factor. Nevertheless, depending on the technique we use, we find that measurement errors may be the cause of this result, thus providing some empirical evidence in support of the new FF five-factor approach. As robustness checks, we also experiment with other liquidity measures ? like the Amihud (2002) ratio and the term-spread ? and bond-oriented factors. Across our 12 portfolios, the results are largely unchanged. We also apply our extended model to managed portfolios ? i.e., hedge fund portfolios. The returns of hedge fund strategies seem more responsive to the augmented FF five-factor model that includes illiquidity measures, especially when accounting for the subprime crisis. There is also evidence that the new FF factors embed illiquidity.

Keywords: Fama-French (2015) five factors; illiquidity; hedge funds; panel data; GMM; robust instruments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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