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On the role of arbitrageurs in rational markets

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  • Basak, Suleyman
  • Croitoru, Benjamin

Abstract

Price discrepancies, although at odds with mainstream finance, are persistent phenomena in financial markets. These apparent mispricings lead to the presence of ‘arbitrageurs’, who aim to exploit the resulting profit opportunities, but whose role remains controversial. This article investigates the impact of the presence of arbitrageurs in rational financial markets. Arbitrage opportunities between redundant risky assets arise endogenously in an economy populated by rational, heterogeneous investors facing restrictions on leverage and short sales. An arbitrageur, indulging in costless, riskless arbitrage is shown to alleviate the effects of these restrictions and improve the transfer of risk amongst investors. When the arbitrageur lacks market power, they always take on the largest arbitrage position possible. When the arbitrageur behaves noncompetitively, in that they take into account the price impact of their trades, they optimally limit the size of their positions due to decreasing marginal profits. In the case when the arbitrageur is subject to margin requirements and is endowed with capital from outside investors, the size of the arbitrageur’s trades and the capital needed to implement these trades are endogenously solved for in equilibrium.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 81 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 143-173

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:81:y:2006:i:1:p:143-173

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

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Cited by:
  1. Guglielmo Caporale & Davide Ciferri & Alessandro Girardi, 2010. "Time-varying spot and futures oil price dynamics," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 75/2010, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.
  2. Bakshi, Gurdip & Madan, Dilip & Panayotov, George, 2010. "Returns of claims on the upside and the viability of U-shaped pricing kernels," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 130-154, July.
  3. Georgy Chabakauri, 2010. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous investors and portfolio constraints," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43142, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Hugonnier, Julien, 2012. "Rational asset pricing bubbles and portfolio constraints," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2260-2302.
  5. Georgy Chabakauri, 2012. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Investors and Portfolio Constraints," 2012 Meeting Papers 636, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Choi, Darwin & Getmansky, Mila & Tookes, Heather, 2009. "Convertible bond arbitrage, liquidity externalities, and stock prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 227-251, February.
  7. Büyükşahin, Bahattin & Robe, Michel A., 2014. "Speculators, commodities and cross-market linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 38-70.
  8. AltInkIlIç, Oya & Hansen, Robert S., 2009. "On the information role of stock recommendation revisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 17-36, October.
  9. Kapadia, Nikunj & Pu, Xiaoling, 2012. "Limited arbitrage between equity and credit markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 542-564.

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