Kolmogorov-Smirnov Tests for Distribution Function Similarity with Applications to Portfolios of Common Stock
38 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2001 Last revised: 18 Sep 2022
Date Written: March 1989
If the elements of the choice set in a decision model involving randomness are not arbitrary, but restricted appropriately, an expected utility ordering of them can be represented by a mean standard deviation ranking function. These restrictions can apply to the form of, or can specify relationships among, the distribution functions. A particularly useful restriction is one which requires that elements in the choice set, when normalized to have a zero mean and unit variance, be identically distributed. No restriction is placed on the form of any individual distribution function. This research empirically tests for this and other useful restrictions on the relationships among the elements of a set of random variables. Observations from the random variables are used to test whether or not they have distribution functions which are appropriately related to one another. The tests are applied to rate of return data for portfolios of common stock. The tests indicate that one cannot reject the hypothesis that the distribution functions of these portfolios are sufficiently similar to imply that the efficient set of portfolios for any risk averse expected utility maximizer is contained in the mean-standard deviation efficient set.
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