Mutual Funds' Fire Sales and the Real Economy: Evidence from Hurricanes

68 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2020 Last revised: 21 Apr 2021

Date Written: October 13, 2020


Using a novel approach based on hurricanes, this paper contributes to the recent debate on whether nonfundamental price variations affect real economic activities. Hurricanes create liquidity demand from investors living in disaster zones. This translates into additional outflows for mutual funds in the areas affected by hur- ricanes of about $2.5 billions. Such outflows cause fire sales, which are followed by temporary price drops in stocks unrelated to the natural disaster (-7% reverted within 10 months). The nonfundamental price decline induces firms to reduce investments by 4%. These results indicate that when the source of outflows is identified ex-ante and stems from investors’ liquidity needs unrelated to fund performance, the resulting nonfundamental price variations actually distort firms’ real decisions.

Keywords: Real effects of finance, Hurricanes, Fire Sales.

JEL Classification: G14, G31, G23, Q54.

Suggested Citation

Tubaldi, Roberto, Mutual Funds' Fire Sales and the Real Economy: Evidence from Hurricanes (October 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Roberto Tubaldi (Contact Author)

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442

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