We examine the effects of the short-selling ban, imposed by Australian regulators in the wake of the global financial crisis, on the trading of financial stocks. Our findings argue against commonly stated reasons for imposing short-sale bans. We find no evidence that short-sale restrictions provide support for stock prices or that they reduce volatility. Moreover, stocks subject to the short-selling ban suffered a severe degradation in market quality. Controlling for the adverse effects of the financial crisis on markets, we show that short-selling restrictions increase intraday volatility, reduce trading activity and increase bid–ask spreads.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/julia_henker/27/