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The Impact of Political Uncertainty on Institutional Ownership

This paper provides original evidence from institutional investors that political uncertainty greatly affects investment behavior. Using institutional holdings of common stock, we find that institutions significantly reduce their holdings by 0.8–2.3% points during presidential election years. Such effect holds for gubernatorial elections with cross-state-border difference-in-difference analysis and for tests using a political uncertainty index. The effect is the opposite for American Depository Receipts (ADRs). In addition, we find that institutions benefit financially from the observed strategy, and such strategy is in line with predicted outcomes of presidential election polls.

01. December 2021

Authors Bill Francis Iftekhar Hasan Yun Zhu

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Professor Iftekhar Hasan, PhD
Professor Iftekhar Hasan, PhD
Economist

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