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WSJ Category Kings - the impact of media attention on consumer and mutual fund investment decisions

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  • Kaniel, Ron
  • Parham, Robert

Abstract

We exploit a novel natural experiment to establish a clear causal relation between media attention and consumer investment behavior. Our findings indicate a 31 percent local average increase in quarterly capital flows into mutual funds mentioned in a prominent Wall Street Journal "Category Kings" ranking list, compared to those funds which just missed making the list. This flow increase is about 7 times larger than extra flows due to the well documented performance-flow relation. Other funds in the same complex receive substantial extra flows as well, especially in smaller complexes. There is no increase in flows when similar information is conveyed absent the prominence of the Category Kings lists. We show mutual fund managers react to the incentive created by the media effect in a strategic way predicted by theory, and present evidence for the existence of propagation mechanisms including increased fund complex advertising subsequent to having a Category King and increased efficacy of subsequent fund media mentions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaniel, Ron & Parham, Robert, 2015. "WSJ Category Kings - the impact of media attention on consumer and mutual fund investment decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 10923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10923
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    Cited by:

    1. Claire Yurong Hong & Xiaomeng Lu & Jun Pan, 2019. "FinTech Platforms and Mutual Fund Distribution," NBER Working Papers 26576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lawrence, Alastair & Ryans, James & Sun, Estelle & Laptev, Nikolay, 2018. "Earnings announcement promotions: A Yahoo Finance field experiment," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 399-414.
    3. Matthias Stefan & Jürgen Huber & Michael Kirchler & Matthias Sutter & Markus Walzl, 2020. "Monetary and Social Incentives in Multi-Tasking: The Ranking Substitution Effect," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2020_10, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    4. Hoopes, Jeffrey L. & Robinson, Leslie & Slemrod, Joel, 2018. "Public tax-return disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 142-162.
    5. Yevgeny Mugerman & Nadav Steinberg & Zvi Wiener, 2019. "The Exclamation Mark of Cain: Risk Salience and Mutual Fund Flows," Bank of Israel Working Papers 2019.09, Bank of Israel.
    6. Peress, Jo�l & Schmidt, Daniel, 2017. "Noise Traders Incarnate: Describing a Realistic Noise Trading Process," CEPR Discussion Papers 12434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Huang, Shiyang & Jiang, Ying & Qiu, Zhigang & Ye, Zhiqiang, 2019. "An equilibrium model of risk management spillover," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-1.
    8. Diefeng Peng & Yulei Rao & Mei Wang, 2016. "Do Top 10 Lists of Daily Stock Returns Attract Investor Attention? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 565-593, December.
    9. Huaizhi Chen & Lauren Cohen & Umit Gurun, 2019. "Don’t Take Their Word For It: The Misclassification of Bond Mutual Funds," NBER Working Papers 26423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Emanuele Bajo & Marco Bigelli & Carlo Raimondo, 2020. "Ownership ties, conflict of interest, and the tone of news," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 26(3), pages 560-578, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    attention; flows; media; mutual fund; ranking; risk shifting; visibility;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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