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Security analysts as frame-makers

Author

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  • Daniel Beunza Ibáñez
  • Raghu Garud

Abstract

In this paper we explore the mechanisms that allow securities analysts to value companies in contexts of Knightian uncertainty, that is, in the face of information that is unclear, subject to unforeseeable contingencies or to multiple interpretations. We address this question with a grounded-theory analysis of the reports written on Amazon.com by securities analyst Henry Blodget and rival analysts during the years 1998-2000. Our core finding is that analysts' reports are structured by internally consistent associations that include categorizations, key metrics and analogies. We refer to these representations as calculative frames, and propose that analysts function as frame-makers - that is, as specialized intermediaries that help investors value uncertain stocks. We conclude by considering the implications of frame-making for the rise of new industry categories, analysts' accuracy, and the regulatory debate on analysts'independence.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Beunza Ibáñez & Raghu Garud, 2004. "Security analysts as frame-makers," Economics Working Papers 733, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:733
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Denzau, Arthur T & North, Douglass C, 1994. "Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 3-31.
    2. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    3. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Beckert, Jens, 2011. "Where do prices come from? Sociological approaches to price formation," MPIfG Discussion Paper 11/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    2. James Faulconbridge & Ewald Engelen & Michael Hoyler & Jonathan Beaverstock, 2007. "Analysing the Changing Landscape of European Financial Centres: The Role of Financial Products and the Case of Amsterdam," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 279-303.
    3. Barry, Christopher B. & Mihov, Vassil T., 2015. "Debt financing, venture capital, and the performance of initial public offerings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 144-165.
    4. Isabelle Chambost, 2008. "La formation du jugement de l'analyste financier sell-side: La difficile réconciliation de la valeur fondamentale des titres avec leur valeur de marché," Post-Print halshs-00522456, HAL.
    5. Jean-Pascal Gond, 2006. "Construire la relation (positive) entre performance sociétale et financière sur le marché de l'ISR : de la performation à l’autoréalisation ?," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 85(4), pages 63-79.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Securities analysts; calculative frames; economic sociolgy;

    JEL classification:

    • L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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