The Information in Asset Fire Sales

Sheng Huang (First Author), Matthew C. Ringgenberg (Participant Author), Zhe Zhang (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


Asset prices remain depressed for years following mutual fund fire sales, but little is known about the causes of these price drops. We show that asymmetric information generates price pressure during fire sales. We separate trades into expected trades, which assume fund managers scale down their portfolio, and discretionary trades. We find that discretionary trades contain fundamental information, whereas expected trades do not. Moreover, other traders cannot distinguish between discretionary and expected trades. Our findings help explain the magnitude and persistence of fire sale discounts: fund managers choose which assets to sell, and information asymmetries make it difficult for arbitrageurs to disentangle price pressure from fundamental information.This paper was accepted by Gustavo Manso, finance.Supplemental Material: Data and the internet appendix are available at .
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Science
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • asymmetric information

Indexed by

  • FT
  • SSCI
  • SCIE
  • ABDC-A*


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