Speculation and Risk Sharing with New Financial Assets
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I investigate the effect of financial innovation on portfolio risks when traders have belief disagreements. I decompose traders’ average portfolio risks into two components: the uninsurable variance, defined as portfolio risks that would obtain without belief disagreements, and the speculative variance, defined as portfolio risks that result from speculation. My main result shows that financial innovation always increases the speculative variance through two distinct channels: by generating new bets and by amplifying traders’ existing bets. When disagreements are large, these effects are sufficiently strong that financial innovation increases average portfolio risks, decreases average portfolio comovements, and generates greater speculative trading volume relative to risk-sharing volume. Moreover, a profit-seeking market maker endogenously introduces speculative assets that increase average portfolio risks.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Economics
Quarterly Journal of Economics
Oxford University Press
Simsek, A. “Speculation and Risk Sharing with New Financial Assets.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 128, no. 3 (July 5, 2013): 1365-1396.
Author's final manuscript
NBER Working Paper 17506