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Are standard asset pricing factors long-range dependent?

Benjamin Rainer Auer ()
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Benjamin Rainer Auer: Department of Finance

Journal of Economics and Finance, 2018, vol. 42, issue 1, 66-88

Abstract: Abstract Factor portfolios derived from phenomena identified in the cross-section of stock returns have become vital parts of modern investment products and financial models. Even though much has been learned about the properties of these portfolios in recent years, one issue still remains unaddressed. Are factor returns long-range dependent (LRD)? We seek to answer this important research question because if factor returns were LRD, optimal portfolio decisions and traditional asset pricing methods/tests based on these factors would be severely biased and the validity of a large strand of prior research would be compromised. Specifically, using Hurst exponent approaches within rescaled range and detrended fluctuation frameworks, we analyse the presence of LRD in the returns of factor portfolios formed based on size, book-to-market, momentum and beta characteristics. For the periods from 1931 to 2014 (US market) and 1990 to 2014 (20 international markets) and supported by several robustness checks, we find no systematic evidence of persistence or anti-persistence in the factor returns. This implies that the factor use can be considered unproblematic in both asset management and asset pricing.

Keywords: Hurst exponent; Rescaled range analysis; Detrended fluctuation analysis; Size effect; Book-to-market effect; Momentum effect; Beta effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C49 G10 G15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:42:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s12197-017-9385-y