The Effect of ETFs on Stock Liquidity

51 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2010 Last revised: 23 Apr 2014

See all articles by Sophia Hamm

Sophia Hamm

Tulane University - A.B. Freeman School of Business

Date Written: April 23, 2014


This paper investigates whether markets for individual stocks lose liquidity when uninformed investors are given options to avoid trading against informed investors. I find a positive association between the percentage of firm shares being held by exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and illiquidity in the market for the underlying stocks. This liquidity deprivation is mitigated for stocks with high quality earnings. These results imply that investors with an informational disadvantage migrate after weighing the cost and benefits of trading portfolios versus the underlying stocks. I further examine how portfolio-level liquidity relates to diversification when liquidity dynamically flows between a portfolio and its underlying stocks.

Keywords: ETF, liquidity, adverse selection, earnings quality, diversification

JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14, M41

Suggested Citation

Hamm, Sophia, The Effect of ETFs on Stock Liquidity (April 23, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Sophia Hamm (Contact Author)

Tulane University - A.B. Freeman School of Business ( email )

7 McAlister Drive
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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