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Acquisition of information and share prices: An empirical investigation of cognitive dissonance

  • Elena Argentese
  • Helmut Luetkepohl
  • Massimo Motta

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 European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2006/32.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2006/32
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  1. 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.
  2. Pelizzon, Loriana & Weber, Guglielmo, 2003. "Are Household Portfolios Efficient? An Analysis Conditional on Housing," CEPR Discussion Papers 3890, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
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  7. Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "A Perspective on Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2wr3z049, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
  12. 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.
  13. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence And Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915, August.
  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. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2006. "Information Acquisition and Portfolio Performance," CeRP Working Papers 52, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  16. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  17. 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.
  18. Joël Peress, 2004. "Wealth, Information Acquisition, and Portfolio Choice," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 879-914.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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