'Shooting the Messenger?' The Impact of Short Sale Bans in Times of Crisis

35 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2010 Last revised: 31 Oct 2010

See all articles by Ian Appel

Ian Appel

UVA Darden

Caroline Fohlin

Emory University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: June 7, 2010


We find that the bans on covered short sales, implemented in several countries during the financial crisis of 2008-09 improved market liquidity or at least had a neutral impact; a result we argue could be expected in theory, given a simple variation on the Diamond-Verrechia (1987) model. The result holds for daily data over an extended period as well as for intraday data over various time spans. In contrast to other recent studies, we use American Depository Receipts as the controls in a difference-in-difference analysis encompassing all banned non-U.S. shares with corresponding depository receipts listed in the United States. Furthermore, we find that bans on covered short sales generally succeeded in lowering volatility. Banning short selling is not good policy in normal times, but our findings indicate that such bans might prove useful in (temporarily) stemming liquidity loss during crises.

Keywords: short selling ban, liquidity, volatility

JEL Classification: G14, G18

Suggested Citation

Appel, Ian and Fohlin, Caroline, 'Shooting the Messenger?' The Impact of Short Sale Bans in Times of Crisis (June 7, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1595003 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1595003

Ian Appel

UVA Darden ( email )

United States

Caroline Fohlin (Contact Author)

Emory University ( email )

Dept. of Economics
Atlanta, GA Georgia 30322
United States
4047276363 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Ma08bxEAAAAJ&hl=en

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

United Kingdom

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