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Asset Prices and Institutional Investors

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  • Suleyman Basak
  • Anna Pavlova

Abstract

We consider an economy populated by institutional investors alongside standard retail investors. Institutions care about their performance relative to a certain index. Our framework is tractable, admitting exact closed-form expressions, and produces the following analytical results. We find that institutions tilt their portfolios towards stocks that compose their benchmark index. The resulting price pressure boosts index stocks. By demanding more risky stocks than retail investors, institutions amplify the index stock volatilities and aggregate stock market volatility and give rise to countercyclical Sharpe ratios. Trades by institutions induce excess correlations among stocks that belong to their benchmark, generating an asset-class effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Suleyman Basak & Anna Pavlova, 2013. "Asset Prices and Institutional Investors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1728-1758, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:5:p:1728-58
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.5.1728
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cox, John C. & Huang, Chi-fu, 1989. "Optimal consumption and portfolio policies when asset prices follow a diffusion process," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 33-83, October.
    2. Lakonishok, Josef, et al, 1991. "Window Dressing by Pension Fund Managers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 227-231, May.
    3. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, January.
    4. Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "How Widespread Was Late Trading in Mutual Funds?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 284-289, May.
    5. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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