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Competition and Bias

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Author Info

  • Harrison Hong

    (Princeton University and National Bureau of Economic Research.)

  • Marcin Kacperczyk

    (New York University and National Bureau of Economic Research.)

Abstract

We attempt to measure the effect of competition on bias in the context of analyst earnings forecasts, which are known to be excessively optimistic because of conflicts of interest. Our natural experiment for competition is mergers of brokerage houses, which result in the firing of analysts because of redundancy (e.g., one of the two oil stock analysts is let go) and other reasons such as culture clash. We use this decrease in analyst coverage for stocks covered by both merging houses before the merger (the treatment sample) to measure the causal effect of competition on bias. We find that the treatment sample simultaneously experiences a decrease in analyst coverage and an increase in optimism bias the year after the merger relative to a control group of stocks, consistent with competition reducing bias. The implied economic effect from our natural experiment is significantly larger than estimates from OLS regressions that do not correct for the endogeneity of coverage. This effect is much more significant for stocks with little initial analyst coverage or competition. (c) 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 125 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1683-1725

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:125:y:2010:i:4:p:1683-1725

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Cited by:
  1. Lauren Cohen & Andrea Frazzini & Christopher J. Malloy, 2012. "Hiring Cheerleaders: Board Appointments of "Independent" Directors," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(6), pages 1039-1058, June.
  2. Da, Zhi & Warachka, Mitchell Craig, 2009. "Cashflow risk, systematic earnings revisions, and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 448-468, December.
  3. Karthik Balakrishnan & Mary B. Billings & Bryan T. Kelly & Alexander Ljungqvist, 2013. "Shaping Liquidity: On the Causal Effects of Voluntary Disclosure," NBER Working Papers 18984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bo Becker & Todd Milbourn, 2010. "How did increased competition affect credit ratings?," NBER Working Papers 16404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sette, Enrico, 2011. "Competition and optimistic advice of financial analysts: Evidence from IPOs," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 441-457, July.
  6. Bryan Kelly & Alexander Ljungqvist, 2012. "Testing Asymmetric-Information Asset Pricing Models," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(5), pages 1366-1413.
  7. He, Jie (Jack) & Tian, Xuan, 2013. "The dark side of analyst coverage: The case of innovation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 856-878.
  8. Irani, Rustom M. & Oesch, David, 2013. "Monitoring and corporate disclosure: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 398-418.
  9. Guglielmo Barone & Francesco D'Acunto & Gaia Narciso, 2011. "Telecracy: Testing for Channels of Persuasion," Trinity Economics Papers tep0412, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.

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