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Investors' horizons and the Amplification of Market Shocks

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  • Cella, Cristina
  • Ellul, Andrew
  • Giannetti, Mariassunta

Abstract

After negative shocks, investors with short trading horizons are inclined or forced to sell their holdings to a larger extent than investors with longer trading horizons. This may amplify the effects of market-wide shocks on stock prices. We test the relevance of this mechanism by exploiting the negative shock caused by Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy in September 2008. Consistent with our conjecture, we find that short-term investors sell significantly more than long-term investors around and after the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy. Most importantly, we show that stocks held by short- term institutional investors experience more severe price drops and larger price reversals than those held by long-term investors. Since they are obtained after controlling for the stocks’ exposure to volatility, various firms’ and investors’ characteristics, including the momentum effect and the propensity of institutional investors to follow an index, our results cannot be explained by characteristics of the institutions’ investment styles other than their investment horizons. We also show that the effect of shareholder trading horizon emerges during other large market declines. Overall, the empirical evidence strongly indicates that investors’ short horizons amplify the effects of market-wide negative shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Cella, Cristina & Ellul, Andrew & Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2010. "Investors' horizons and the Amplification of Market Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 8083, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8083
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial crisis; fire sales; institutional investors; investor horizon; market crashes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • 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
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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