Is There Really a When-Issued Premium?

John R. Ezzell, James A. Miles, J. Harold Mulherin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We use a unique set of equities in the when-issued market to provide new tests of the law of one price in financial markets. We compare the prices of when-issued and regular way shares of publicly traded subsidiaries and their parents around the time the subsidiaries are fully divested and we find that the when-issued shares of the subsidiary trade at a discount. Pricing differences stem from measurement factors such as exchange location and bid-ask clustering that bias the observed when-issued pricing differential away from zero. The remaining difference is due to asymmetric movements in bid and ask quotes in the two markets. We also find evidence of temporary price pressures on the date of execution of the spinoff of the subsidiary firms that bear resemblance to the pricing in the when-issued market. We interpret the evidence as consistent with the law of one price in the presence of transaction costs and microstructure phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-634
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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