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Closed-End Fund Discounts in a Rational Agent Economy

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  • Matthew Spiegel
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    Abstract

    Nearly any standard financial model concludes that two assets with identical cash flows must sell for the same price. Alas, closed-end mutual fund company share prices seem to violate this fundamental tenant. Even when one considers several standard frictions, such as taxes and agency costs, classical financial models cannot explain the large persistent discounts found within the data. While the standard financial markets model may not explain the existence of large closed-end fund discounts, this paper shows that a rather close version of it does. In an otherwise frictionless market, if asset supplies vary randomly over time and agents posses finite lives a closed-end mutual fund's stock price may not track its net asset value. Furthermore, the analysis provides a number of conditions under which these discrepancies will lead to the existence of systematic discounts for the mutual fund's shares. In addition, the model provides predictions regarding the correlation between current closed-end fund discounts and current changes in stock prices and future changes in corporate productivity. As the analysis shows the same parameter values that lead to systematic discounts

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm80.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jan 1998
    Date of revision: 01 Aug 2000
    Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm80

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    1. James Dow & Gary Gorton, 1993. "Arbitrage Chains," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0035, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
    2. Pontiff, Jeffrey, 1995. "Closed-end fund premia and returns Implications for financial market equilibrium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 341-370, March.
    3. Lee, Charles M C & Shleifer, Andrei & Thaler, Richard H, 1991. " Investor Sentiment and the Closed-End Fund Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 75-109, March.
    4. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharftstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1992. " Herd on the Street: Informational Inefficiencies in a Market with Short-Term Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1461-84, September.
    5. Brickley, James A. & Schallheim, James S., 1985. "Lifting the Lid on Closed-End Investment Companies: A Case of Abnormal Returns," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 107-117, March.
    6. Chen, Nai-fu & Kan, Raymond & Miller, Merton H, 1993. " Are the Discounts on Closed-End Funds a Sentiment Index?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 795-800, June.
    7. Barclay, Michael J. & Holderness, Clifford G. & Pontiff, Jeffrey, 1993. "Private benefits from block ownership and discounts on closed-end funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 263-291, June.
    8. Lee, Charles M C & Shleifer, Andrei & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Closed-End Mutual Funds," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 153-64, Fall.
    9. Peavy, John W, III, 1990. "Returns on Initial Public Offerings of Closed-End Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(4), pages 695-708.
    10. Swaminathan, Bhaskaran, 1996. "Time-Varying Expected Small Firm Returns and Closed-End Fund Discounts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 845-87.
    11. Azariadis, Costas, 1981. "Self-fulfilling prophecies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 380-396, December.
    12. Handley, Kathleen Weiss & Lee, Charles M. C. & Seguin, Paul L., 1996. "The Marketing of Closed-end Fund IPOs: Evidence from Transactions Data," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 127-159, April.
    13. Malkiel, Burton G, 1977. "The Valuation of Closed-End Investment-Company Shares," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 847-59, June.
    14. Brickley, James A & Manaster, Steven & Schallheim, James, 1991. "The Tax-Timing Option and the Discounts on Closed-End Investment Companies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(3), pages 287-312, July.
    15. Bhushan, Ravi & Brown, David P. & Mello, Antonio S., 1997. "Do Noise Traders “Create Their Own Space?”," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 25-45, March.
    16. Thompson, Rex, 1978. "The information content of discounts and premiums on closed-end fund shares," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2-3), pages 151-186.
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