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Managerial Miscalibration

Author

Listed:
  • Ben-David, Itzhak

    (Ohio State University)

  • Graham, John R.

    (Duke University)

  • Harvey, Campbell R.

    (Duke University)

Abstract

Miscalibration is a form of overconfidence examined in both psychology and economics. Although it is often analyzed in lab experiments, there is scant evidence about the effects of miscalibration in practice. We test whether top corporate executives are miscalibrated, and study the determinants of their miscalibration. We study a unique panel of over 11,600 probability distributions provided by top financial executives and spanning nearly a decade of stock market expectations. Our results show that financial executives are severely miscalibrated: realized market returns are within the executives' 80% confidence intervals only 33% of the time. We show that miscalibration improves following poor market performance periods because forecasters extrapolate past returns when forming their lower forecast bound ("worst case scenario"), while they do not update the upper bound ("best case scenario") as much. Finally, we link stock market miscalibration to miscalibration about own-firm project forecasts and increased corporate investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben-David, Itzhak & Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2010. "Managerial Miscalibration," Working Paper Series 2010-12, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2010-12
    as

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    File URL: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/papers/2010/2010-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gervais, Simon & Odean, Terrance, 2001. "Learning to be Overconfident," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
    2. Gilles Hilary & Lior Menzly, 2006. "Does Past Success Lead Analysts to Become Overconfident?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 489-500, April.
    3. Simon Gervais & Itay Goldstein, 2007. "The Positive Effects of Biased Self-Perceptions in Firms," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 11(3), pages 453-496.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing with Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208.
    5. Anand M. Goel & Anjan V. Thakor, 2008. "Overconfidence, CEO Selection, and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2737-2784, December.
    6. Eric Van den Steen, 2004. "Rational Overoptimism (and Other Biases)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1141-1151, September.
    7. Puri, Manju & Robinson, David T., 2007. "Optimism and economic choice," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 71-99, October.
    8. Kent Daniel & David Hirshleifer & Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, 1998. "Investor Psychology and Security Market Under- and Overreactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1839-1885, December.
    9. Hackbarth, Dirk, 2008. "Managerial Traits and Capital Structure Decisions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(04), pages 843-881, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy

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