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Publication Bias and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns

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Abstract

We develop an estimator for publication bias and apply it to 156 hedge portfolios based on published cross-sectional return predictors. Publication bias adjusted returns are only 12% smaller than in-sample returns. The small bias comes from the dispersion of returns across predictors, which is too large to be accounted for by data-mined noise. Among predictors that can survive journal review, a low t-stat hurdle of 1.8 controls for multiple testing using statistics recommended by Harvey, Liu, and Zhu (2015). The estimated bias is too small to account for the deterioration in returns after publication, suggesting an important role for mispricing.

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  • Andrew Y. Chen & Tom Zimmermann, 2018. "Publication Bias and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-033, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2018-33
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2018.033
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    Cited by:

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    7. Jacobs, Heiko & Müller, Sebastian, 2020. "Anomalies across the globe: Once public, no longer existent?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 213-230.
    8. Chen, Andrew Y. & Zimmermann, Tom, 2020. "Open source cross-sectional asset pricing," CFR Working Papers 20-04, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    9. Yukun Liu & Aleh Tsyvinski & Xi Wu, 2019. "Common Risk Factors in Cryptocurrency," NBER Working Papers 25882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Andrew Y. Chen & Mihail Velikov, 2020. "Zeroing in on the Expected Returns of Anomalies," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-039, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Data mining; Mispricing; Publication bias; Stock return anomalies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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