Do Hedge Funds Profit from Mutual-Fund Distress?
University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management
Samuel Gregory Hanson
Harvard Business School
Harrison G. Hong
Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Jeremy C. Stein
Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
NBER Working Paper No. w13786
This paper explores the question of whether hedge funds engage in front-running strategies that exploit the predictable trades of others. One potential opportunity for front-running arises when distressed mutual funds -- those suffering large outflows of assets under management -- are forced to sell stocks they own. We document two pieces of evidence that are consistent with hedge funds taking advantage of this opportunity. First, in the time series, the average returns of long/short equity hedge funds are significantly higher in those months when a larger fraction of the mutual-fund sector is in distress. Second, at the individual stock level, short interest rises in advance of sales by distressed mutual funds.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49
Date posted: February 8, 2008