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Institutional investors and the limits of arbitrage

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  • Lewellen, Jonathan

Abstract

The returns and stock holdings of institutional investors from 1980 to 2007 provide little evidence of stock-picking skill. Institutions as a whole closely mimic the market portfolio, with pre-cost returns that have nearly perfect correlation with the value-weighted index and an insignificant CAPM alpha of 0.08% quarterly. Institutions also show little tendency to bet on any of the main characteristics known to predict stock returns, such as book-to-market, momentum, or accruals. While particular groups of institutions have modest stock-picking skill relative to the CAPM, their performance is almost entirely explained by the book-to-market and momentum effects in returns. Further, no group holds a portfolio that deviates efficiently from the market portfolio.

Suggested Citation

  • Lewellen, Jonathan, 2011. "Institutional investors and the limits of arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 62-80, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:102:y:2011:i:1:p:62-80
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    Cited by:

    1. Baltzer, Markus & Jank, Stephan & Smajlbegovic, Esad, 2014. "Who trades on momentum?," Discussion Papers 42/2014, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. Ball, Ray & Gerakos, Joseph & Linnainmaa, Juhani T. & Nikolaev, Valeri, 2016. "Accruals, cash flows, and operating profitability in the cross section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 28-45.
    3. Yang, Lisa (Zongfei) & Goh, Jeremy & Chiyachantana, Chiraphol, 2016. "Valuation uncertainty, market sentiment and the informativeness of institutional trades," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 81-98.
    4. David Chambers & Elroy Dimson, 2013. "Retrospectives: John Maynard Keynes, Investment Innovator," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 213-228, Summer.
    5. Michael Weber, 2016. "Cash Flow Duration and the Term Structure of Equity Returns," CESifo Working Paper Series 6043, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Joseph Gerakos & Juhani T. Linnainmaa & Adair Morse, 2016. "Asset Managers: Institutional Performance and Smart Betas," NBER Working Papers 22982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lynch, Andrew & Puckett, Andy & Yan, Xuemin (Sterling), 2014. "Institutions and the turn-of-the-year effect: Evidence from actual institutional trades," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 56-68.
    8. Edelen, Roger M. & Ince, Ozgur S. & Kadlec, Gregory B., 2016. "Institutional investors and stock return anomalies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 472-488.
    9. Cao, Charles & Liang, Bing & Lo, Andrew W. & Petrasek, Lubomir, 2014. "Hedge fund holdings and stock market efficiency," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Chabakauri, Georgy & Rytchkov, Oleg, 2014. "Asset pricing with index investing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60739, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Jiao, Yawen & Ye, Pengfei, 2014. "Mutual fund herding in response to hedge fund herding and the impacts on stock prices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 131-148.
    12. Jiao, Yawen & Massa, Massimo & Zhang, Hong, 2016. "Short selling meets hedge fund 13F: An anatomy of informed demand," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 544-567.
    13. repec:eee:jbfina:v:82:y:2017:i:c:p:133-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Amin, Abu S. & Dutta, Shantanu & Saadi, Samir & Vora, Premal P., 2015. "Institutional shareholding and information content of dividend surprises: Re-examining the dynamics in dividend-reappearance era," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 152-170.
    15. repec:eee:finmar:v:36:y:2017:i:c:p:40-55 is not listed on IDEAS

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