NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Bayesian Inference and Portfolio Efficiency

Shmuel Kandel, Robert McCulloch, Robert F. Stambaugh

NBER Technical Working Paper No. 134
Issued in May 1993
NBER Program(s):   AP

A Bayesian approach is used to investigate a sample's information about a portfolio's degree of inefficiency. With standard diffuse priors, posterior distributions for measures of portfolio inefficiency can concentrate well away from values consistent with efficiency, even when the portfolio is exactly efficient in the sample. The data indicate that the NYSE-AMEX market portfolio is rather inefficient in the presence of a riskless asset, although this conclusion is justified only after an analysis using informative priors. Including a riskless asset significantly reduces any sample's ability to produce posterior distributions supporting small degrees of inefficiency.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/t0134

Published: in Review of Financial Studies August 1995, pp.1-53.

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