The Granular Nature of Large Institutional Investors
96 Pages Posted: 16 May 2016 Last revised: 16 Oct 2022
Date Written: May 2016
Large institutional investors own an increasing share of the equity markets in the U.S. The implications of this development for financial markets are still unclear. The paper presents novel empirical evidence that ownership by large institutions predicts higher volatility and greater noise in stock prices as well as greater fragility in times of crisis. When studying the channel, we find that large institutional investors exhibit traits of granularity, i.e., subunits within a firm display correlated behavior, which reduces diversification of idiosyncratic shocks. Thus, large institutions trade larger volumes and induce greater price impact.
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