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Rational Attention Allocation Over the Business Cycle

Author

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  • Marcin Kacperczyk
  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh
  • Laura Veldkamp

Abstract

The question of whether and how mutual fund managers provide valuable services for their clients motivates one of the largest literatures in finance. One candidate explanation is that funds process information about future asset values and use that information to invest in high-valued assets. But formal theories are scarce because information choice models with many assets are difficult to solve as well as difficult to test. This paper tackles both problems by developing a new attention allocation model that uses the state of the business cycle to predict information choices, which in turn, predict observable patterns of portfolio investments and returns. The predictions about fund portfolios’ covariance with payoff shocks, cross-fund portfolio and return dispersion, and their excess returns are all supported by the data. These findings offer new evidence that some investment managers have skill and that attention is allocated rationally.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcin Kacperczyk & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Rational Attention Allocation Over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15450
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ron Kaniel & Péter Kondor, 2013. "The Delegated Lucas Tree," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 929-984.
    2. Vegard Høghaug Larsen & Leif Anders Thorsrud, 2017. "Asset returns, news topics, and media effects," Working Papers No 5/2017, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
    3. Chang, Kuang-Liang & Chen, Nan-Kuang & Leung, Charles Ka Yui, 2012. "The dynamics of housing returns in Singapore: How important are the international transmission mechanisms?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 516-530.
    4. Camelia M. Kuhnen, 2015. "Asymmetric Learning from Financial Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(5), pages 2029-2062, October.
    5. Bartosz Maćkowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2015. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 1502-1532.
    6. Pennesi, Daniele, 2015. "Costly information acquisition and the temporal resolution of uncertainty," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 115-122.
    7. Marcin Kacperczyk & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2014. "Time-Varying Fund Manager Skill," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(4), pages 1455-1484, August.
    8. repec:kap:jfsres:v:51:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10693-015-0234-x is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Agarwal, Vikas & Gómez, Juan-Pedro & Priestley, Richard, 2012. "Management compensation and market timing under portfolio constraints," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1600-1625.
    10. Marcin Kacperczyk & Philipp Schnabl, 2010. "When Safe Proved Risky: Commercial Paper during the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 29-50, Winter.
    11. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Inattention to Rare Events," CEPR Discussion Papers 8626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Boyarchenko, Nina, 2012. "Information acquisition and financial intermediation," Staff Reports 571, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Jun 2014.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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