Institutional Holding, Low Beta and Idiosyncratic Volatility Anomalies
36 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2014
Date Written: May 09, 2014
Institutional investors subject to benchmarking, short-selling and leverage constraints have asymmetric effects on both low beta and low volatility anomalies documented by previous studies. Specifically, institutional investors prefer high-beta stocks to low-beta stocks to minimize the tracking error and utilize the embedded leverage of high beta stocks, leading to low-beta anomaly. They can act as the supply source of security lending to the short-sellers, mitigating the overpricing induced negative effect on expected returns from idiosyncratic volatility. Using size effect adjusted institutional ownership as a proxy for institutional limits to arbitrage, I confirm that mandated and financial constrained institutional investors contribute positively to the low beta anomaly but mitigate the low IVOL anomaly using sorting and Fama-MacBeth regressions. I distinguish the highly correlated low beta and low volatility anomalies and find a significantly positive risk premium for institutional holding. A strong January reversal effect of idiosyncratic volatility on expected return is also documented.
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