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The persistence of the small firm/January effect: Is it consistent with investors' learning and arbitrage efforts?

  • Easterday, Kathryn E.
  • Sen, Pradyot K.
  • Stephan, Jens A.
Registered author(s):

    Using improved methodology and an expanded research design, we examine whether the small firm/January effect (Keim, D. B. (1983). Size-related anomalies and stock return seasonality: further empirical evidence. Journal of Financial Economics 12:13-32), is declining over time due to market efficiency. First, we find that January returns are smaller after 1963-1979, but have simply reverted to levels that existed before that time. Second, we show that the January effect is not limited to mature markets but also appears in firms trading on the relatively new NASDAQ exchange in the 1970s. Third, trading volume for small firms in December and January is not different from other months, implying that traders are not actively arbitraging the anomaly. Together, our results suggest that this anomaly continues to defy rational explanation in an efficient market.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5X-4T3VRCX-1/2/13280968757cd520293b16d9bdc5e2f8
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 1172-1193

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:49:y:2009:i:3:p:1172-1193
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620167

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    1. Lisa R. Anderson & Jeffrey R. Gerlach & Francis J. DiTraglia, 2005. "Yes, Wall Street, There Is a January Effect! Evidence from Laboratory Auctions," Working Papers 15, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
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    4. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
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    7. Banz, Rolf W., 1981. "The relationship between return and market value of common stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-18, March.
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    9. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Capital Gains Tax Rules, Tax-loss Trading, and Turn-of-the-year Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 353-368, 02.
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    17. Reinganum, Marc R, 1982. " A Direct Test of Roll's Conjecture on the Firm Size Effect," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 27-35, March.
    18. Branch, Ben, 1977. "A Tax Loss Trading Rule," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(2), pages 198-207, April.
    19. Bamber, Linda Smith & Barron, Orie E. & Stober, Thomas L., 1999. "Differential Interpretations and Trading Volume," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(03), pages 369-386, September.
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