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How Index Trading Increases Market Vulnerability

Rodney N Sullivan

AQR Capital Management

James X. Xiong

Ibbotson Associates

September 26, 2011

Financial Analysts Journal, Forthcoming

Assets invested in passively managed equity mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) have grown steadily in recent years, reaching more than one trillion dollars at the end of 2010. Through a battery of tests, we establish that the rise in popularity of index investing contributes to higher systematic market risk. More indexed equity assets corresponds to increased cross-sectional trading commonality, in turn precipitating higher return correlations among stocks. We further discover that equity betas have not only risen but converged in recent years; also consistent with the accelerating growth and importance of passive investing.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: market risk, risk management

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Date posted: August 11, 2011 ; Last revised: November 1, 2011

Suggested Citation

Sullivan, Rodney N and Xiong, James X., How Index Trading Increases Market Vulnerability (September 26, 2011). Financial Analysts Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1908227

Contact Information

Rodney N Sullivan (Contact Author)
AQR Capital Management ( email )
Two Greenwich Plza
Greenwich, CT 06830
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.aqr.com/Home.aspx
James X. Xiong
Ibbotson Associates ( email )
United States
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