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Trading on Short-Term Information

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  • Alexander Gumbel

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Abstract

In this paper we address the question as to why fund managers may trade on short-term information in a financial market that offers more profitable trading on long-term information. We consider a setting in which a fund manager’s ability is unknown and an investor uses performance observations to learn about this ability. We show that an investor learns less efficiently about the ability of a fund manager when he trades on long-term information compared to trading on short-term information. This is the case, because the information on which a manager bases his trades is less precise the longer the information horizon, and thus performance observations contain more noise. Moreover, under trading on long-term information, performance observations become available after a short period only if the manager unwinds his position early. Such performance observations, however, are generally contaminated with additional noise, because unwinding prices only reveal underlying asset value imperfectly. When the informational efficiency of short-term prices increases, this effect becomes less pronounced, because a long-term trader who unwinds his position after a short time can convey an increasing amount of information concerning his ability to the investor. At the same time, trading on short-term information becomes less profitable, and therefore the investor’s incentive to induce short-term trading weakened. Nevertheless, we show that short-term trading may be induced even when prices fully reveal short-term information.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Gumbel, 1999. "Trading on Short-Term Information," OFRC Working Papers Series 1999fe10, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:sbs:wpsefe:1999fe10
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    File URL: http://www.finance.ox.ac.uk/file_links/finecon_papers/1999fe10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeremy C. Stein, 1989. "Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 655-669.
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    3. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
    4. Dasgupta, Amil & Prat, Andrea, 2003. "Trading Volume with Career Concerns," CEPR Discussion Papers 4034, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    6. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1990. "Equilibrium Short Horizons of Investors and Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 148-153, May.
    7. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1985. "Delegated portfolio management," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, June.
    8. Istemi Demirag, 1995. "Short-term performance pressures: is there a consensus view?," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 41-56.
    9. Spiegel, Matthew & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1992. "Informed Speculation and Hedging in a Noncompetitive Securities Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 307-329.
    10. Heinkel, Robert & Stoughton, Neal M, 1994. "The Dynamics of Portfolio Management Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 351-387.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Thanassoulis, 2011. "Industrial Structure, Executives' Pay And Myopic Risk Taking," Economics Series Working Papers 571, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Casamatta, Catherine & Pouget, Sébastien, 2009. "Fund Managers' Contracts and Financial Markets' Short-Termism," IDEI Working Papers 553, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Feb 2011.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • 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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