When short sellers agree to disagree: short sales, volatility, and heterogeneous beliefs Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Ringgenberg, Matthew
    • Affiliation: Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • Using a novel database that contains information on the quantity of shares demanded and supplied in the equity lending market, I test a previously unexplored implication that follows from models of heterogeneous beliefs: the idea that short sales lead to increased volatility because they alter the supply of shares in the market. Because short sales and returns are endogenously determined, I use an instrumental variables framework to identify their relation. Specifically, I use shifts in the lendable supply of shares to identify the impact that short sales have on both the level and volatility of returns and I find evidence that short sales lead to higher contemporaneous volatility. Moreover, I find that this effect is strongest when demand curves are more likely to be downward sloping as a result of heterogeneous beliefs, a finding consistent with the predictions of heterogeneous belief models. In other words, I find that when there is disagreement among investors, the trades of short sellers lead to increased volatility.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Kenan-Flagler Business School (Finance)."
  • Reed, Adam
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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