Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Financial Economics


Economics and Finance

Major Professor

Neal Maroney

Second Advisor

M Kabir Hassan

Third Advisor

Gerald Whitney

Fourth Advisor

Atsuyuki Naka

Fifth Advisor

James Davis


Chapter 1:

Intuition suggests that constraint investment strategies will result in losses due to a limited portfolio allocation. Yet prior research has shown that this is not the case for a particular set of constraint mutual funds so-called Socially Responsible Investing, SRI. In this paper I show that such assets do face loses to portfolio efficiency due to their limited asset universe. I contribute to the literature by employing two techniques to estimate asset performance. First, I estimate a DEA based efficiency score that allows for direct comparison between ex-post efficiency rankings and test the ex-ante relevance of such scores by including them into asset pricing models. Second, I further check if these results are consistent when comparing the performance of ethical funds based on the alphas of traditional asset pricing models even after adjusting for coskewness risk. Overall, the results suggest that ethical funds underperform traditional unconstraint investment assets.

Chapter 2:

Starting after the turn of the millennium, inflation has been persistently higher than the short term T-Bill rate. Following the traditional view, this will imply a negative real rates of return that have become commonplace in the US economy. This paper examines the possibility that if an inflation risk discount contained in nominal rates exist and can explain low or negative real rates, using consumption based asset pricing model. Evidence suggests using the traditional Fisher equation to calculate real rates leads to an overestimate of real rates due to a modest inflation risk premium. To achieve non-negative real rates in a consumption based asset pricing framework the covariance between consumption growth and inflation innovations would have to be at least thirty times larger than empirically found, and in opposite direction, for the Post-Volker era. Still, though the after 2000’s covariance is positive, which suggest a discount on risk free, the magnitude is still too small to explain negativity of real rates.

JEL Classification : E21, E31

Key Words : Mutual Funds, Performance, Data Envelop Analysis, Coskewness, Risk Factors, Real Returns, Consumption Bases Asset Pricing Models, Inflation


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