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Are retail traders compensated for providing liquidity?

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  • Barrot, Jean-Noel
  • Kaniel, Ron
  • Sraer, David

Abstract

This paper examines the extent to which individual investors provide liquidity to the stock market and whether they are compensated for doing so. We show that the ability of aggregate retail order imbalances, contrarian in nature, to predict short-term future returns is significantly enhanced during times of market stress, when market liquidity provisions decline. While a weekly rebalanced portfolio long in stocks purchased and short in stocks sold by retail investors delivers 19% annualized excess returns over a four-factor model from 2002 to 2010, it delivers up to 40% annualized returns in periods of high uncertainty. Despite this high aggregate performance, individual investors do not reap the rewards from liquidity provision because they experience a negative return on the day of their trade and they reverse their trades long after the excess returns from liquidity provision are dissipated. During the financial crisis, French active retail stock traders stepped up to the plate, increased stock holdings, and provided liquidity. In contrast, mutual fund investors fled from delegation by selling their mutual funds.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrot, Jean-Noel & Kaniel, Ron & Sraer, David, 2016. "Are retail traders compensated for providing liquidity?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 146-168.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:120:y:2016:i:1:p:146-168
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2016.01.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Hoopes & Patrick Langetieg & Stefan Nagel & Daniel Reck & Joel Slemrod & Bryan Stuart, 2016. "Who Sold During the Crash of 2008-9? Evidence from Tax-Return Data on Daily Sales of Stock," NBER Working Papers 22209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Rawley Z. Heimer & Alp Simsek, 2017. "Should Retail Investors' Leverage Be Limited?," NBER Working Papers 24176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:eee:glofin:v:37:y:2018:i:c:p:152-167 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:jfinec:v:132:y:2019:i:3:p:1-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alderighi, Stefano & Cleary, Siobhan & Varanasi, Padmasai, 2018. "The determinants of cross-border portfolio equity flows: new evidence from emerging markets," Economics Discussion Papers 23310, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    6. repec:eee:ecofin:v:45:y:2018:i:c:p:161-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Paula A. Yepes-Henao & Diego A. Agudelo & Ramazan Gencay, 2018. "Muddying the waters: Who Induces Volatility in an Emerging Market?," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 016974, Universidad EAFIT.
    8. Hayley, Simon & Marsh, Ian W., 2016. "What do retail FX traders learn?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 16-38.
    9. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00648 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Liquidity; Retail investors; Crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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