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Are Household Investors Noise Traders: Evidence from Belief Dispersion and Stock Trading Volume

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  • Li, Dan

    () (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))

  • Li, Geng

    () (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))

Abstract

We document a robust positive relationship between the belief dispersion about macroeconomic conditions among household investors and the stock market trading volume, using more than 30 years of household survey data and a novel approach to measuring belief dispersions. Notably, such a relationship prevails even after various series of professional analysts' belief dispersions are controlled for. Consistent with a causal effect, such a relationship is most pronounced for belief dispersion among individuals who are most likely to own stocks and for trading volume of stocks that are most visible to household investors. Finally, we present suggestive evidence that the dispersion of changes in belief is also positively associated with the stock trading volume. Our analysis implies that household investors, traditionally viewed as tending to trader randomly, likely possess and trade on information that is not available to professional investors.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Dan & Li, Geng, 2014. "Are Household Investors Noise Traders: Evidence from Belief Dispersion and Stock Trading Volume," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2014-35
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Chris H. & Frijns, Bart, 2019. "Noise trading and informational efficiency," EconStor Preprints 198037, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    2. Hamid, Alain & Heiden, Moritz, 2015. "Forecasting volatility with empirical similarity and Google Trends," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 62-81.

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    Keywords

    Belief dispersion; trading volume; household investors; surveys of consumers;

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