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- Creators: Chopin, Frédéric, 1810-1849
One necessary condition for the two-pass risk premium estimator to be consistent and asymptotically normal is that the rank of the beta matrix in a proposed linear asset pricing model is full column. I first investigate the asymptotic properties of the risk premium estimators and the related t-test and Wald test statistics when the full rank condition fails. I show that the beta risk of useless factors or multiple proxy factors for a true factor are priced more often than they should be at the nominal size in the asset pricing models omitting some true factors. While under the null hypothesis that the risk premiums of the true factors are equal to zero, the beta risk of the true factors are priced less often than the nominal size. The simulation results are consistent with the theoretical findings. Hence, the factor selection in a proposed factor model should not be made solely based on their estimated risk premiums. In response to this problem, I propose an alternative estimation of the underlying factor structure. Specifically, I propose to use the linear combination of factors weighted by the eigenvectors of the inner product of estimated beta matrix. I further propose a new method to estimate the rank of the beta matrix in a factor model. For this method, the idiosyncratic components of asset returns are allowed to be correlated both over different cross-sectional units and over different time periods. The estimator I propose is easy to use because it is computed with the eigenvalues of the inner product of an estimated beta matrix. Simulation results show that the proposed method works well even in small samples. The analysis of US individual stock returns suggests that there are six common risk factors in US individual stock returns among the thirteen factor candidates used. The analysis of portfolio returns reveals that the estimated number of common factors changes depending on how the portfolios are constructed. The number of risk sources found from the analysis of portfolio returns is generally smaller than the number found in individual stock returns.