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The Shorting Premium and Asset Pricing Anomalies

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  • Itamar Drechsler
  • Qingyi Freda Drechsler

Abstract

Short-rebate fees are a strong predictor of the cross-section of stock returns, both gross and net of fees. We document a large "shorting premium": the cheap-minus-expensive-to-short (CME) portfolio of stocks has a monthly average gross return of 1.43%, a net return of 0.91%, and a 1.53% four-factor alpha. We show that short fees interact strongly with the returns to eight of the largest and most well-known cross-sectional anomalies. The anomalies effectively disappear within the 80% of stocks that have low short fees, but are greatly amplified among those with high fees. We propose a joint explanation for these findings: the shorting premium is compensation for the concentrated short risk borne by the small fraction of investors who do most shorting. Because it is on the short side, it raises prices rather than lowers them. We proxy for this short risk using the CME portfolio return and demonstrate that a Fama-French + CME factor model largely captures the anomaly returns among both high- and low-fee stocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Itamar Drechsler & Qingyi Freda Drechsler, 2014. "The Shorting Premium and Asset Pricing Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 20282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20282
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Weber, Michael, 2018. "Cash flow duration and the term structure of equity returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(3), pages 486-503.
    2. repec:oup:rasset:v:6:y:2016:i:1:p:1-45. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Robert F. Stambaugh & Yu Yuan, 2017. "Mispricing Factors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(4), pages 1270-1315.
    4. Reed, Adam V., 2015. "Connecting supply, short-sellers and stock returns: Research challenges," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 97-103.
    5. Jean-Sébastien Fontaine & René Garcia & Sermin Gungor, 2015. "Funding Liquidity, Market Liquidity and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns," Staff Working Papers 15-12, Bank of Canada.
    6. Joenväärä, Juha & Kosowski, Robert & Tolonen, Pekka, 2018. "The Effect of Investment Constraints on Hedge Fund Investor Returns," CEPR Discussion Papers 12599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. repec:oup:rfinst:v:29:y:2016:i:12:p:3211-3244. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:oup:revfin:v:29:y:2016:i:12:p:3211-3244. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Yongqiang Chu & David Hirshleifer & Liang Ma, 2017. "The Causal Effect of Limits to Arbitrage on Asset Pricing Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 24144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • 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
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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