We find a positive association between short selling and accruals during 1988--2009, and that asymmetry between the up- and downsides of the accrual anomaly is stronger when constraints on short arbitrage are more severe (low availability of loanable shares as proxied by institutional holdings). Short arbitrage occurs primarily among firms in the top accrual decile. Asymmetry is present only on NASDAQ. Thus, there is short arbitrage of the accrual anomaly, but short-sale constraints limit its effectiveness. The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org., Oxford University Press.
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