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Rational Expectations and the Dynamic Adjustment of Security Analysts' Forecasts to New Information

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  • Ackert, Lucy F
  • Hunter, William C

Abstract

We report the results of unbiasedness tests of security analysts' earnings forecasts. By examining how analysts incorporate new information into their updated earnings forecasts we can analyze directly the effect of new information on analysts' forecast revisions and evaluate whether these revised forecasts converge to rational expectations forecasts. The forecasts made by security analysts participating in the Institutional Brokers Estimate System (IBES) database are analyzed. Using standard statistical tests, we reject the simple form of the rational expectations hypothesis. However, by extending the standard tests used in previous studies, we obtain results that suggest that analysts' earnings forecasts conform to a dynamic form of rationality. The tendency of revised forecasts to converge stochastically toward the rational expectations forecast cautions against the rejection of more complicated forms of rationality.

Suggested Citation

  • Ackert, Lucy F & Hunter, William C, 1994. "Rational Expectations and the Dynamic Adjustment of Security Analysts' Forecasts to New Information," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 17(3), pages 387-401, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfnres:v:17:y:1994:i:3:p:387-401
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Haltiwanger, John & Waldman, Michael, 1985. "Rational Expectations and the Limits of Rationality: An Analysis of Heterogeneity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 326-340, June.
    2. Robert Conroy & Robert Harris, 1987. "Consensus Forecasts of Corporate Earnings: Analysts' Forecasts and Time Series Methods," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(6), pages 725-738, June.
    3. David Bigman & David Goldfarb & Edna Schechtman, 1983. "Futures market efficiency and the time content of the information sets," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(3), pages 321-334, September.
    4. Ackert, Lucy F & Hunter, William C, 1995. "Rational Expectations and Security Analysts' Earnings Forecasts," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 427-443, August.
    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    6. Swidler, Steve & Ketcher, David, 1990. "Economic Forecasts, Rationality, and the Processing of New Information over Time," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages 65-76, February.
    7. Abarbanell, Jeffery S., 1991. "Do analysts' earnings forecasts incorporate information in prior stock price changes?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 147-165, June.
    8. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-479, June.
    9. Brown, Lawrence D. & Hagerman, Robert L. & Griffin, Paul A. & Zmijewski, Mark E., 1987. "Security analyst superiority relative to univariate time-series models in forecasting quarterly earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 61-87, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giraldo, Marcela, 2011. "Dynamics of analysts' coverage and the firms' information environment," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 345-354.
    2. Lucy F. Ackert & George Athanassakos, 1997. "Prior Uncertainty, Analyst Bias, And Subsequent Abnormal Returns," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 263-273, June.
    3. Lucy F. Ackert & George Athanassakos, 2000. "A simultaneous equations analysis of analysts’ forecast bias and institutional ownership," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2000-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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