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Closed-End Fund Discounts in a Rational Agent Economy

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  • Matthew Spiegel

Abstract

Nearly any standard financial model concludes that two assets with identical cash flows must sell for the same price. Alas, closed-end mutual fund company share prices seem to violate this fundamental tenant. Even when one considers several standard frictions, such as taxes and agency costs, classical financial models cannot explain the large persistent discounts found within the data. While the standard financial markets model may not explain the existence of large closed-end fund discounts, this paper shows that a rather close version of it does. In an otherwise frictionless market, if asset supplies vary randomly over time and agents posses finite lives a closed-end mutual fund's stock price may not track its net asset value. Furthermore, the analysis provides a number of conditions under which these discrepancies will lead to the existence of systematic discounts for the mutual fund's shares. In addition, the model provides predictions regarding the correlation between current closed-end fund discounts and current changes in stock prices and future changes in corporate productivity. As the analysis shows the same parameter values that lead to systematic discounts

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Spiegel, 1998. "Closed-End Fund Discounts in a Rational Agent Economy," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm80, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2000.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm80
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    File URL: http://icfpub.som.yale.edu/publications/2622
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