Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Active Short Selling by Hedge Funds

Author(s): Ian Appel, Jordan Bulka and Vyacheslav Fos

Publication Date: June 2019


Programme Area(s): Financial Economics

Abstract: Short selling campaigns by hedge funds have become increasingly common in the last decade. Using a hand-collected sample of 252 campaigns, we document abnormal returns for targets of approximately -7% around the announcement date. Firm stakeholders, including the media, plaintiffs' attorneys, and other short sellers, play an important role in campaigns. Changes in aggregate short interest do not drive the effects on firm value and stakeholder behavior. Campaigns are primarily undertaken by activist hedge funds. Evidence suggests disclosure costs and information are important channels through which activism technology affects short selling.

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Bibliographic Reference

Appel, I, Bulka, J and Fos, V. 2019. 'Active Short Selling by Hedge Funds'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.