Multivariate Tests of Mean-Variance Efficiency and Spanning with a Large Number of Assets and Time-Varying Covariances

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We develop a finite-sample procedure to test for mean-variance efficiency and spanning without imposing any parametric assumptions on the distribution of model disturbances. In so doing, we provide an exact distribution-free method to test uniform linear restrictions in multivariate linear regression models. The framework allows for unknown forms of non-normalities, and time-varying conditional variances and covariances among the model disturbances. We derive exact bounds on the null distribution of joint F statistics in order to deal with the presence of nuisance parameters, and we show how to implement the resulting generalized non-parametric bounds tests with Monte Carlo resampling techniques. In sharp contrast to the usual tests that are not computable when the number of test assets is too large, the power of the new test procedure potentially increases along both the time and cross-sectional dimensions.