Nonparametric assessment of hedge fund performance

Caio Almeida, Kym Ardison, René Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We propose a new class of performance measures for Hedge Fund (HF) returns based on a family of empirically identifiable stochastic discount factors (SDFs). The SDF-based measures incorporate no-arbitrage pricing restrictions and naturally embed information about higher-order mixed moments between HF and benchmark factors returns. We provide a full asymptotic theory for our SDF estimators to test for the statistical significance of each fund's performance and for the relevance of individual benchmark factors within each proposed measure. We apply our methodology to a panel of 4815 individual hedge funds. Our empirical analysis reveals that fewer funds have a statistically significant positive alpha compared to the Jensen's alpha obtained by the traditional linear regression approach. Moreover, the funds’ rankings vary considerably between the two approaches. Performance also varies between the members of our family because of a different fund exposure to higher-order moments of the benchmark factors, highlighting the potential heterogeneity across investors in evaluating performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-378
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Econometrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Admissible performance measures
  • Hedge funds
  • Higher-order moments
  • Nonparametric estimation


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