Does Economic Policy Uncertainty Drive Global ETF Flows?
59 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2020 Last revised: 31 May 2022
Date Written: May 30, 2022
We investigate the association between fund exposure of economic policy uncertainty (EPU) and flows of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) using a unique sample of U.S. global ETFs from 2012 to 2018. We find that fund exposure of EPU is negatively associated with flows after controlling for returns, macroeconomic conditions, and other fund characteristics. Such a negative relationship is pronounced in funds with the high flow-performance sensitivity and economic relatedness. Investor sentiment is identified as the possible mechanism through which fund exposure of EPU reduces fund flows, as shown by the put-to-call option volume and short interest. Flow decomposition collaborates with the finding that only sentiment-driven flows respond to the EPU. Our study highlights the significant role of EPU in driving ETF flows in the global context.
Keywords: economic policy uncertainty; investor sentiment; flow decomposition
JEL Classification: F21, F23, F32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation