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Dispersion of opinion and stock returns

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  • Goetzmann, William N.
  • Massa, Massimo

Abstract

We use a panel of more than 100,000 investor accounts in US stocks over the period 1991-1995 to construct an investor-based measure of dispersion of opinion, unlike the analyst based measure used in the literature. We use this measure to test two competing hypotheses: the sidelined investors hypothesis and the uncertainty/asymmetric information hypothesis. We find evidence that supports the sidelined-investors hypothesis. We show that the dispersion of opinion of the investors in a stock is positively related to the contemporaneous returns and trading volume of the stock and negatively related to its future returns. Moreover, dispersion of opinion aggregates across many stocks and generates factors that have a market-wide effect, affecting the stock equilibrium rate of return and providing additional explanatory power in a standard asset-pricing model. This supports the interpretation of dispersion of opinion as a risk factor. We also show that dispersion of opinion among retail investors Granger causes dispersion of opinion among analysts.
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Suggested Citation

  • Goetzmann, William N. & Massa, Massimo, 2005. "Dispersion of opinion and stock returns," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 324-349, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finmar:v:8:y:2005:i:3:p:324-349
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Huijun & Yan, Jinghua & Yu, Jianfeng, 2017. "Reference-dependent preferences and the risk–return trade-off," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 395-414.
    2. Dan Li & Geng Li, 2011. "Belief dispersion among household investors and stock trading volume," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Mehmet Balcilar & Riza Demirer & Rangan Gupta & Mark E. Wohar, 2018. "Differences of opinion and stock market volatility: evidence from a nonparametric causality-in-quantiles approach," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 42(2), pages 339-351, April.
    4. Han, Jianlei & Pan, Zheyao & Zhang, Guangli, 2017. "Divergence of opinion and long-run performance of private placements: evidence from the auction market," Working Papers 2017-09, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.
    5. Michael Bailey & Ruiqing Cao & Theresa Kuchler & Johannes Stroebel, 2016. "Social Networks and Housing Markets," NBER Working Papers 22258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Wongchoti, Udomsak & Wu, Fei & Young, Martin, 2009. "Buy and sell dynamics following high market returns: Evidence from China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 12-20, March.
    7. Li, Dan & Li, Geng, 2014. "Are Household Investors Noise Traders: Evidence from Belief Dispersion and Stock Trading Volume," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. repec:eee:pacfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:174-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jeffrey Hobbs & Hei Wai Lee & Vivek Singh, 2017. "New evidence on the effect of belief heterogeneity on stock returns," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, February.
    10. Jiang, Hao & Sun, Zheng, 2014. "Dispersion in beliefs among active mutual funds and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 341-365.
    11. Atmaz, Adem & Basak, Suleyman, 2017. "Belief Dispersion in the Stock Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 12056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Qian, Xiaolin, 2014. "Small investor sentiment, differences of opinion and stock overvaluation," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 219-246.
    13. Xiaoquan Jiang, 2010. "Return dispersion and expected returns," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 24(2), pages 107-135, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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