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Embedded Leverage

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea Frazzini
  • Lasse H. Pedersen

Abstract

Many financial instruments are designed with embedded leverage such as options and leveraged exchange traded funds (ETFs). Embedded leverage alleviates investors' leverage constraints and, therefore, we hypothesize that embedded leverage lowers required returns. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that asset classes with embedded leverage offer low risk-adjusted returns and, in the cross-section, higher embedded leverage is associated with lower returns. A portfolio which is long low-embedded-leverage securities and short high-embedded-leverage securities earns large abnormal returns, with t-statistics of 8.6 for equity options, 6.3 for index options, and 2.5 for ETFs. We provide extensive robustness tests and discuss the broader implications of embedded leverage for financial economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Frazzini & Lasse H. Pedersen, 2012. "Embedded Leverage," NBER Working Papers 18558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18558
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Acharya, Viral V. & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2005. "Asset pricing with liquidity risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 375-410, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jensen, Mads Vestergaard & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2016. "Early option exercise: Never say never," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 278-299.
    2. John Geanakoplos & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2012. "Monitoring Leverage," NBER Chapters,in: Risk Topography: Systemic Risk and Macro Modeling, pages 113-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Chen, Zhuo & Lu, Andrea, 2017. "Slow diffusion of information and price momentum in stocks: Evidence from options markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 98-108.
    4. repec:oup:rasset:v:3:y:2013:i:2:p:229-257. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. George M. Constantinides & Jens Carsten Jackwerth & Alexi Savov, 2013. "The Puzzle of Index Option Returns," Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 229-257.
    6. Alan Moreira & Tyler Muir, 2016. "Volatility Managed Portfolios," NBER Working Papers 22208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Longarela, Iñaki R. & Mayoral, Silvia, 2015. "Quote inefficiency in options markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 23-36.
    8. Paolo Guasoni & Eberhard Mayerhofer, 2015. "The Limits of Leverage," Papers 1506.02802, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2017.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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