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Dispersion of Opinion and Stock Returns



    (Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance)


    (INSEAD - Department of Finance)

We use a panel of more than 100,000 investor accounts in US stocks over the period 1991-1995 to construct an investor-based measure of dispersion of opinion, unlike the analyst based measure used in the literature. We use this measure to test two competing hypotheses: the sidelined investors hypothesis and the uncertainty/asymmetric information hypothesis. We find evidence that supports the sidelined-investors hypothesis. We show that the dispersion of opinion of the investors in a stock is positively related to the contemporaneous returns and trading volume of the stock and negatively related to its future returns. Moreover, dispersion of opinion aggregates across many stocks and generates factors that have a market-wide effect, affecting the stock equilibrium rate of return and providing additional explanatory power in a standard asset-pricing model. This supports the interpretation of dispersion of opinion as a risk factor. We also show that dispersion of opinion among retail investors Granger causes dispersion of opinion among analysts.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm444.

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Date of creation: 12 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm444
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  1. He, Hua & Wang, Jiang, 1995. "Differential Information and Dynamic Behavior of Stock Trading Volume," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(4), pages 919-72.
  2. Naik, Narayan Y., 1997. "On aggregation of information in competitive markets: The dynamic case," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 1199-1227, June.
  3. Stephen Morris, . ""Speculative Investor Behavior and Learning''," CARESS Working Papres 95-13, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  4. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2000. "Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 773-806, 04.
  5. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-38, August.
  6. Miller, Edward M, 1977. "Risk, Uncertainty, and Divergence of Opinion," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1151-68, September.
  7. Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy & Anna Scherbina, 2002. "Differences of Opinion and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2113-2141, October.
  8. Kraus, Alan & Smith, Maxwell, 1989. " Market Created Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 557-69, July.
  9. Williams, Joseph T., 1977. "Capital asset prices with heterogeneous beliefs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 219-239, November.
  10. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1993. "Differences of Opinion Make a Horse Race," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(3), pages 473-506.
  11. Joseph Chen & Harrison Hong & Jeremy C. Stein, 2001. "Breadth of Ownership and Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 8151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "Investor Sentiment and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 10449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
  14. Wang, Jiang, 1993. "A Model of Intertemporal Asset Prices under Asymmetric Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 249-82, April.
  15. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2002. "Online Investors: Do the Slow Die First?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 455-488, March.
  16. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  17. Charles M.C. Lee & Bhaskaran Swaminathan, 2000. "Price Momentum and Trading Volume," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2017-2069, October.
  18. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, And Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292, February.
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