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Short-sale constraints and efficiency of the spot–futures dynamics


  • McMillan, David G.
  • Philip, Dennis


This paper studies the spot and futures cross-market efficiency implications of the regulatory short-selling constraints imposed during the 2008–2009 financial crisis. We find that the equilibrium position for the basis during the ban period is below that normally seen, with the spot price higher relative to the futures price. This suggests that holding the spot was more valuable than holding the futures during the ban period. Further, we find that the speed of adjustment has slowed down and in some cases become statistically insignificant, suggesting that arbitrage is less effective during the ban period. The results presented here have implications for regulators and traders regarding the efficiency of these markets during a short-sale ban.

Suggested Citation

  • McMillan, David G. & Philip, Dennis, 2012. "Short-sale constraints and efficiency of the spot–futures dynamics," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 129-136.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:24:y:2012:i:c:p:129-136
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2012.09.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Philip, Dennis & Shi, Yukun, 2015. "Impact of allowance submissions in European carbon emission markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 27-37.
    2. Chau, Frankie & Kuo, Jing-Ming & Shi, Yukun, 2015. "Arbitrage opportunities and feedback trading in emissions and energy markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 130-147.

    More about this item


    Short-sale constraints; Short-selling; Arbitrage; Mispricing;

    JEL classification:

    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading


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