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Managerial Miscalibration

  • Itzhak Ben-David
  • John R. Graham

Using a unique 10-year panel that includes more than 13,300 expected stock market return probability distributions, we find that executives are severely miscalibrated, producing distributions that are too narrow: realized market returns are within the executives' 80% confidence intervals only 36% of the time. We show that executives reduce the lower bound of the forecast confidence interval during times of high market uncertainty; however, ex post miscalibration is worst during periods of high uncertainty. We also find that executives who are miscalibrated about the stock market show similar miscalibration regarding their own firms' prospects. Finally, firms with miscalibrated executives seem to follow more aggressive corporate policies: investing more and using more debt financing. JEL Codes: G31, G32, G34, D03, D22, D84. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjt023
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 128 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 1547-1584

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Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2013:i:4:p:1547-1584
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  1. Bruno Biais & Denis Hilton & Karine Mazurier & Sébastien Pouget, 2005. "Judgemental Overconfidence, Self-Monitoring, and Trading Performance in an Experimental Financial Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 287-312.
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  7. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect Of Managers On Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208, November.
  8. Gilles Hilary & Lior Menzly, 2006. "Does Past Success Lead Analysts to Become Overconfident?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 489-500, April.
  9. Eric Van den Steen, 2004. "Rational Overoptimism (and Other Biases)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1141-1151, September.
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