Staff Reports
Market Declines: Is Banning Short Selling the Solution?
2014   September 2011  Number 518
JEL classification: G01, G12, G14, G18

Authors: Robert Battalio, Hamid Mehran, and Paul Schultz

In response to the sharp decline in prices of financial stocks in the fall of 2008, regulators in a number of countries banned short selling of particular stocks and industries. Evidence suggests that these bans did little to stop the slide in stock prices, but significantly increased costs of liquidity. In August 2011, the U.S. market experienced a large decline when Standard and Poor’s announced a downgrade of U.S. debt. Our cross-sectional tests suggest that the decline in stock prices was not significantly driven or amplified by short selling. Short selling does not appear to be the root cause of recent stock market declines. Furthermore, banning short selling does not appear to prevent stock prices from falling when firm-specific or economy-wide economic fundamentals are weak, and may impose high costs on market participants.

Available only in PDF pdf  20 pages / 359 kb
Tools
E-mail Alerts