Optimal Hedging with Higher Moments

Abstract: This study proposes a utility-based framework for the determination of optimal hedge ratios that can allow for the impact of higher moments on the hedging decision. The approach is applied to a set of 20 commodities that are hedged with futures contracts. We find that in sample, the performance of hedges constructed allowing for non-zero higher moments is only very slightly better than the performance of the much simpler OLS hedge ratio. When implemented out of sample, utility-based hedge ratios are usually less stable over time, and can make investors worse off for some assets compared to hedging using the traditional methods. We conclude, in common with a growing body of very recent literature, by suggesting that higher moments matter in theory but not in practice.

Published on 5th September 2011
Authors C. Brooks, A. Cerny, J. Miffre
Series Reference 2006-12

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