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Asset Allocation with Aversion to Parameter Uncertainty: A Minimax Regression Approach

Sessi Topkavi

No 2011-1, EconomiX Working Papers from University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX

Abstract: This paper takes a minimax regression approach to incorporate aversion to parameter uncertainty into the mean-variance model. The uncertainty-averse minimax mean-variance portfolio is obtained by minimizing with respect to the unknown weights the upper bound of the usual quadratic risk function over a fuzzy ellipsoidal set. Beyond the existing approaches, our methodology offers three main advantages: first, the resulting optimal portfolio can be interpreted as a Bayesian mean-variance portfolio with the least favorable prior density, and this result allows for a comprehensive comparison with traditional uncertainty-neutral Bayesian mean-variance portfolios. Second, the minimax mean-variance portfolio has a shrinkage expression, but its performance does not necessarily lie within those of the two reference portfolios. Third, we provide closed form expressions for the standard errors of the minimax mean-variance portfolio weights and statistical significance of the optimal portfolio weights can be easily conducted. Empirical applications show that incorporating aversion to parameter uncertainty leads to more stable optimal portfolios that outperform traditional uncertainty-neutral Bayesian mean-variance portfolios.

Keywords: Asset allocation; estimation error; aversion to uncertainty; min-imax regression; Bayesian mean-variance portfolios; least favorable prior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2011
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ecm and nep-upt
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