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Have financial markets become more informative?

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  • Jennie Bai
  • Thomas Philippon
  • Alexi Savov

Abstract

The finance industry has grown. Financial markets have become more liquid. Information technology has improved. But have prices become more informative? Using stock and bond prices to forecast earnings, we find that the information content of market prices has not increased since 1960. The magnitude of earnings surprises, however, has increased. A baseline model predicts that as the efficiency of information production increases, prices become more disperse and covary more strongly with future earnings. The forecastable component of earnings improves capital allocation and serves as a direct measure of welfare. We find that this measure has remained stable. A model with endogenous information acquisition predicts that an increase in fundamental uncertainty also increases informativeness as the incentive to produce information grows. We find that uncertainty has indeed increased outside of the S&P 500, but price informativeness has not.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 578.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:578

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Related research

Keywords: Financial markets ; Prices ; Information technology ; Investments ; Stock - Prices ; Uncertainty;

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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1076-1107, October.
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  7. John Y. Campbell, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 1-43, 02.
  8. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
  9. Simon Gilchrist & Fabio M. Natalucci & Egon Zakrajsek, 2007. "Investment and the Cost of Capital: New Evidence from the Corporate Bond Market," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-027, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  10. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  11. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. All that financial innovation has not lead to more transparency
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2014-01-15 15:39:00

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