Spot Asset Carry Cost Rates and Futures Hedge Ratios
24 Pages Posted: 17 May 2019
Date Written: February 16, 2019
The traditional futures hedge ratio (hT) is calculated ex post via economically structureless statistical analysis. Its lack of an economic foundation makes it inefficient and elevates its risk of error due to a regime shift. This paper proposes an ex ante, more efficient, carry cost rate (c) based hedge ratio (hc). While the paper shows that hc is biased, it demonstrates that c underlies both hT and hc, such that hT/hc is stationary. Consequently, a prior period’s hT/hc ratio, even if from the distant past, or a different c regime, works well as an ex ante bias adjustment multiplier for the current hc to mitigate its bias. Finally, it shows that the hedge effectiveness for both hc and the bias-adjusted version of hc exceed that for hT, though the excess hedge effectiveness of hc over hT is not always statistically significant.
Keywords: carry cost rate, hedge ratio
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