Has Hedge Fund Alpha Disappeared?
Manuel Ammann, Otto Huber and Markus Schmid
Volume 9, Number 1, First Quarter 2011
This paper investigates the alpha generation of the hedge fund industry based on a recent sample compiled from the Lipper/TASS database covering the time period from January 1994 to September 2008. We find a positive average hedge fund alpha in the cross-section for the majority of strategies and a positive and significant alpha for roughly half of all funds. Moreover, the alpha of three-quarter of the strategy indices is positive and significant in the time series. A comparison of a factor model in which the risk factors are selected based on a stepwise regression approach and the widely used factor model proposed by Fung and Hsieh (2004) reveals that the estimated alpha is robust with respect to the choice of the factor model. In contrast to prior research, we find no evidence of a decreasing hedge fund alpha over time. Moreover, based on our sample, we cannot confirm prior evidence pointing to capacity constraints in the hedge fund industry.