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Do short sellers exploit industry information?

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  • Huszár, Zsuzsa R.
  • Tan, Ruth S.K.
  • Zhang, Weina

Abstract

This study provides new evidence about short sellers' trading strategies by showing that short sellers exploit firm information in combination with industry information in their trades. In industries with the highest aggregate shorted values, the most-shorted stocks earn about 1.535% lower abnormal returns than other highly shorted stocks in less shorted industries over the next six months. These results are likely driven by short sellers’ preference for complex industries with the highest profit potential. We also show that the aggregate shorted value at the industry level is able to predict important industry shifts, such as declines in sales and increased competition. Overall, our results suggest that short sellers help to reduce information complexity and improve economic efficiency at the industry level.

Suggested Citation

  • Huszár, Zsuzsa R. & Tan, Ruth S.K. & Zhang, Weina, 2017. "Do short sellers exploit industry information?," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 118-139.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:118-139
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jempfin.2016.10.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Noam Bergman & Tim Foxon, 2018. "Reorienting Finance Towards Energy Efficiency: The Case of UK Housing," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-05, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Industry information; Industry restructuring; Pricing efficiency; Short selling;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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