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Acquisition of Information and Share Prices: An Empirical Investigation of Cognitive Dissonance

  • Argentesi, Elena
  • Lütkepohl, Helmut
  • Motta, Massimo

This paper deals with the determinants of agents' acquisition of information. Our econometric evidence shows that the general index of Italian share-prices and the series of Italy's financial newspaper sales are cointegrated, and the former series Granger-causes the latter, thereby giving support to the cognitive dissonance hypothesis: (non-professional) agents tend to buy the newspaper when share prices are high and not to buy it when share prices are low. Instead, we do not find support for the hypothesis that the agents acquire information in order to trade in the stock market: we find no relationship between quantities exchanged in the market and newspaper sales, nor between stock market volatility and newspaper sales.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5912.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5912
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  1. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  2. Lutkepohl, Helmut & Reimers, Hans-Eggert, 1992. "Granger-causality in cointegrated VAR processes The case of the term structure," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 263-268, November.
  3. Joël Peress, 2004. "Wealth, Information Acquisition, and Portfolio Choice," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 879-914.
  4. Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  6. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2006. "Information Acquisition and Portfolio Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5901, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Matthew Rabin, 2003. "A Perspective on Psychology and Economics," General Economics and Teaching 0303003, EconWPA.
  8. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  9. Leeat Yariv, 2002. "I'll See It When I Believe It - A Simple Model of Cognitive Consistency," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1352, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Pelizzon, Loriana & Weber, Guglielmo, 2003. "Are Household Portfolios Efficient? An Analysis Conditional on Housing," CEPR Discussion Papers 3890, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-74, September.
  12. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501, March.
  13. Carrillo, Juan D & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 529-44, July.
  14. Norbert Funke & Akimi Matsuda, 2002. "Macroeconomic News and Stock Returns in the United States and Germany," IMF Working Papers 02/239, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence And Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915, August.
  16. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
  17. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  18. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
  19. Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "First Impressions Matter: A Model Of Confirmatory Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 37-82, February.
  20. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Can anticipatory feelings explain anomalous choices of information sources?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 87-104, July.
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