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.