NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Andra C. Ghent

Department of Finance
Kenan-Flager Business School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
300 Kenan Center Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2019What's Wrong with Pittsburgh? Delegated Investors and Liquidity Concentration
w25966
What makes an asset institutional-quality? This paper proposes that one reason is the existing concentration of delegated investors in a market through a liquidity channel. Consistent with this intuition, it documents differences in investor composition across US cities and shows that delegated investors concentrate investments in cities with higher turnover. It then calibrates a search model showing how heterogeneity in liquidity preferences makes some markets more liquid even when assets have identical cash flows. The calibration indicates that commercial real estate commands an illiquidity premium of two percentage points annually relative to a perfectly liquid asset with similar credit risk.
August 2018Asset Insulators
with Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, Valentin Haddad: w24973
We propose that financial institutions can act as asset insulators, holding assets for the long run to protect their valuations from consequences of exposure to financial markets. We demonstrate the empirical relevance of this theory for the balance sheet behavior of a large class of intermediaries, life insurance companies. The pass-through from assets to equity is an especially informative metric for distinguishing the asset insulator theory from Modigliani-Miller or other standard models. We estimate the pass-through using security-level data on insurers’ holdings matched to corporate bond returns. Uniquely consistent with the insulator view, outside of the 2008-2009 crisis insurers lose as little as 15 cents in response to a dollar drop in asset values, while during the crisis the pass...
 
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