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Limits of Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence from the Mortgage Backed Securities Market, Journal of Finance

Abstract

``Limits of Arbitrage" theories require that the marginal investor in a particular asset market be a specialized arbitrageur. Then the constraints faced by this arbitrageur (i.e. capital constraints) feed through into asset prices. We examine the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market in this light, as casual empiricism suggests that investors in the MBS market do seem to be very specialized. We show that risks that seem relatively minor for aggregate wealth are priced in the MBS market. A simple pricing kernel based on the aggregate value of MBS securities prices risk in the MBS market. The evidence suggests that limits of arbitrage theories can explain the cross-sectional and time-series behavior of spreads in this market.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Xavier Gabaix, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Olivier Vigneron

Date Published

2007

Citations

Gabaix, Xavier, Arvind Krishnamurthy, and Olivier Vigneron. 2007. Limits of Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence from the Mortgage Backed Securities Market. Journal of Finance. 62(2): 557-595.

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