Integrating Factor Models
127 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2021 Last revised: 9 May 2023
Date Written: December 15, 2021
This paper develops a comprehensive framework to address uncertainty about the correct factor model. Asset pricing inferences draw on a composite model that integrates over competing factor models weighted by posterior probabilities. Evidence shows that unconditional models record near-zero probabilities, while post-earnings announcement drift, quality-minus-junk, and intermediary capital are potent factors in conditional asset pricing. Out-of-sample, the integrated model performs well, tilting away from subsequently underperforming factors. Model uncertainty makes equities appear considerably riskier, while model disagreement about expected returns spikes during crash episodes. Disagreement spans all return components involving mispricing, factor loadings, and risk premia.
Keywords: Factor models, Model integration, Posterior probability, Stock return predictability, Mispricing
JEL Classification: C11, C12, C52, G12
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