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Essays in asset pricing and institutional investors

Shang, Qi (2012) Essays in asset pricing and institutional investors. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis includes three papers: 1. Limited Arbitrage Analysis of CDS Basis Trading By modeling time-varying funding costs and demand pressure as the limits to arbitrage, the paper shows that assets with identical cash-flows have not only different expected returns, but also different expected returns in excess of funding costs. I solve the model in closed-form to show that the arbitrage on the CDS and corporate bond market is a risky arbitrage. The sign of the expected excess return of the arbitrage is decided by the sign and size of market frictions rather than the observed price discrepancy. The size and risk of the arbitrage excess return are increasing in market friction levels and assets' maturities. High levels of market frictions also destruct the positive predictability of credit spread term structure on credit spread changes. Results from the empirical section support the above-mentioned model predictions. 2. General Equilibrium Analysis of Stochastic Benchmarking This paper applies a closed-form continuous-time consumption-based general equilibrium model to analyze the equilibrium implications when some agents in the economy promise to beat a stochastic benchmark at an intermediate date. For very risky benchmark, these agents increase volatility and risk premium in the equilibrium. On the other hand, when they promise to beat less risky benchmark, they decrease volatility and risk premium in the equilibrium. In both cases, the degree of effect is state-dependent and stock price rises. 3. Institutional Asset Pricing with Heterogenous Belief (Co-authored) We propose an equilibrium asset pricing model in which investors with heterogeneous beliefs care about relative performance. We find that the relative performance concern leads agents to trade more similarly, which has two effects. First, similar trading directly decreases volatility. Second, similar trading decreases the impact of the dominant agents. When the economy is extremely good or bad, the second effect is dominant so that the relative performance concern enlarges the excess volatility caused by heterogeneous beliefs. When the first effect is dominant, which corresponds to a normal economy, the volatility is lower than without the relative performance concern. Moreover, this paper shows that the relative performance concern also influences investors' holdings, stock prices and risk premia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Qi Shang
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Sets: Departments > Finance
Supervisor: Vayanos, Dimitri

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