Is there a Relationship between the Liquidity of Closed-End Funds’ Portfolios, Fund Ownership by Smaller Investors, and the Liquidity of the Funds’ Shares?

Document Type

Book Chapter


Closed-end Funds; Portfolio Liquidity; Fund-share Liquidity; G11; G12; G23; M41

Identifier Data



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Publication Source

The Spread of Financial Sophistication through Emerging Markets Worldwide (Research in Finance, Vol. 32)

Rights Management

Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited


We assess whether smaller investors are more likely to hold shares of closed-end funds that invest more heavily in illiquid securities. We also examine the relationship between the liquidity of the securities held in the portfolios of closed-end mutual funds (portfolio liquidity) and the liquidity of the closed-end funds’ shares (fund-share liquidity). Using a sample of 1,619 fund-years from 2010 to 2012, we find that smaller investors are more likely than institutional investors to own closed-end funds. We also find that the liquidity of closed-end funds’ portfolios is positively associated with the liquidity of the funds’ shares. Our findings are consistent with the “liquidity benefits” notion that closed-end funds are a means for smaller investors to invest in less liquid securities. In addition, our findings are consistent with the “valuation skepticism” notion which indicates that, due to the difficulty of objectively valuing illiquid securities, different perceptions of the value of illiquid securities held in funds’ portfolios may result in greater fund-share liquidity.