NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Shihao Gu

University of Chicago Booth School of Business
5807 S. Woodlawn
Chicago, IL 60637

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago Booth School of Business

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2018Empirical Asset Pricing via Machine Learning
with Bryan Kelly, Dacheng Xiu: w25398
We synthesize the field of machine learning with the canonical problem of empirical asset pricing: measuring asset risk premia. In the familiar empirical setting of cross section and time series stock return prediction, we perform a comparative analysis of methods in the machine learning repertoire, including generalized linear models, dimension reduction, boosted regression trees, random forests, and neural networks. At the broadest level, we find that machine learning offers an improved description of expected return behavior relative to traditional forecasting methods. We identify the best performing methods (trees and neural networks) and trace their predictive gains to allowance of nonlinear predictor interactions that are missed by other methods. Lastly, we find that all methods agre...
 
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