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ETFs, Arbitrage, and Contagion

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  • Ben-David, Itzhak

    (OH State University)

  • Franzoni, Francesco

    (Swiss Finance Institute and University of Lugano)

  • Moussawi, Rabih

    (University of PA)

Abstract

Recent literature suggests that trading by institutional investors may affect the first and second moments of returns. Elaborating on this intuition, we conjecture that arbitrageurs can propagate liquidity shocks between related markets. The paper provides evidence in this direction by studying Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), an asset class that has gained paramount importance in recent years. We report that arbitrage activity occurs between ETFs and the underlying assets. Then, we show that ETFs increase the volatility of the underlying assets, and that the prices of the underlying assets are affected by shocks to ETFs. Finally, we present findings consistent with the idea that ETFs served as a conduit for shock propagation between the futures market and the equity market during the Flash Crash on May 6, 2010. Overall, our results suggest that arbitrage activity may induce contagion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011-20.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2011-20

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  1. Cella, Cristina & Ellul, Andrew & Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2010. "Investors' horizons and the Amplification of Market Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 8083, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Gromb, Denis & Vayanos, Dimitri, 2010. "Limits of Arbitrage: The State of the Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 7738, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jeffrey Wurgler, 2010. "On the Economic Consequences of Index-Linked Investing," NBER Working Papers 16376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Suleyman Basak & Anna Pavlova, 2013. "Asset Prices and Institutional Investors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1728-58, August.
  5. Pontiff, Jeffrey, 2006. "Costly arbitrage and the myth of idiosyncratic risk," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 35-52, October.
  6. Coval, Joshua & Stafford, Erik, 2007. "Asset fire sales (and purchases) in equity markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 479-512, November.
  7. Scott W. Barnhart & Stuart Rosenstein, 2010. "Exchange-Traded Fund Introductions and Closed-End Fund Discounts and Volume," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 973-994, November.
  8. Cespa, Giovanni & Foucault, Thierry, 2011. "Learning from Prices, Liquidity Spillovers, and Market Segmentation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Greenwood, Robin & Thesmar, David, 2011. "Stock price fragility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 471-490.
  10. Allaudeen Hameed & Wenjin Kang & S. Viswanathan, 2010. "Stock Market Declines and Liquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(1), pages 257-293, 02.
  11. Lee, Charles M C & Ready, Mark J, 1991. " Inferring Trade Direction from Intraday Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 733-46, June.
  12. Amihud, Yakov, 2002. "Illiquidity and stock returns: cross-section and time-series effects," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-56, January.
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