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Credibility and Cheap Talk of Securities Analysts:Theory and Evidence


  • Jordi Blanes


This paper studies how investors react to public messages that may be optimistically biased. We first construct a communication game between an investor and a (possibly) biased securities analyst. We find an equilibrium characterised by the following properties: first, the investor reacts more to bad news than to good news, and second, the di.erence in this reaction is higher when the investor has a greater prior suspicion that the analyst is a biased type. We then use nonparametric techniques and a large database of earnings forecasts to test these predictions, and find that the evidence supports them. Lastly, we use our empirical strategy to discriminate between the causes for analysts’ bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Blanes, 2003. "Credibility and Cheap Talk of Securities Analysts:Theory and Evidence," FMG Discussion Papers dp472, Financial Markets Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp472

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lin, Hsiou-wei & McNichols, Maureen F., 1998. "Underwriting relationships, analysts' earnings forecasts and investment recommendations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 101-127, February.
    2. Krigman, Laurie & Shaw, Wayne H. & Womack, Kent L., 2001. "Why do firms switch underwriters?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 245-284, May.
    3. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
    4. Michael P. Keane & David E. Runkle, 1998. "Are Financial Analysts' Forecasts of Corporate Profits Rational?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 768-805, August.
    5. Roland Benabou & Guy Laroque, 1992. "Using Privileged Information to Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, and Credibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 921-958.
    6. Zitzewitz, Eric, 2001. "Measuring Herding and Exaggeration by Equity Analysts and Other Opinion Sellers," Research Papers 1802, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    7. Morgan, John & Stocken, Phillip C, 2003. " An Analysis of Stock Recommendations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 183-203, Spring.
    8. Wouter Dessein, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
    9. Welch, Ivo, 2000. "Herding among security analysts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 369-396, December.
    10. Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 1996. "Impetuous Youngsters and Jaded Old-Timers: Acquiring a Reputation for Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1105-1134, December.
    11. S.G. Badrinath & Sunil Wahal, 2002. "Momentum Trading by Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2449-2478, December.
    12. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-686.
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:95:y:2001:i:02:p:435-452_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Mehmet Y. Gurdal & Ayca Ozdogan & Ismail Saglam, 2011. "Truth-Telling and Trust in Sender-Receiver Games with Intervention," Working Papers 1106, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics.
    2. Tobias Gesche, 2016. "De-biasing strategic communication," ECON - Working Papers 216, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2017.
    3. Stephen Baginski & Elizabeth Demers & Chong Wang & Julia Yu, 2016. "Contemporaneous verification of language: evidence from management earnings forecasts," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 165-197, March.
    4. Kartik, Navin & Ottaviani, Marco & Squintani, Francesco, 2007. "Credulity, lies, and costly talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 93-116, May.

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