Short Campaigns by Hedge Funds

69 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2018 Last revised: 14 Aug 2023

See all articles by Ian Appel

Ian Appel

UVA Darden

Vyacheslav Fos

Boston College - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 1, 2020


Recent years have seen the rise of short campaigns by hedge funds. Nearly 80% of campaigns are undertaken by activist hedge funds, particularly those that employ hostile tactics in their long campaigns. Short campaigns are associated with negative abnormal returns of -7%, with aggregate valuation effects similar in magnitude to the gains from long activism campaigns. In contrast to long campaigns, public communication is a critical component of short campaigns. We do not find evidence that such communication is manipulative. Overall, our analysis highlights the importance of short campaigns for understanding the economic impact of activist hedge funds.

Keywords: Activist Hedge Funds, Short Selling, Strategic Communication

JEL Classification: G23, G14

Suggested Citation

Appel, Ian and Fos, Vyacheslav, Short Campaigns by Hedge Funds (June 1, 2020). European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 609/2019, Available at SSRN: or

Ian Appel (Contact Author)

UVA Darden ( email )

United States

Vyacheslav Fos

Boston College - Department of Finance ( email )

Carroll School of Management
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3808
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

United Kingdom

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