We find financial analysts herd to a greater degree in firms with more opaque information environments as measured by the incidence of short-term institutional investors present. The S-statistic, a measure of forecast bias, and forecast timing and quality metrics are used to measure analyst herding behavior. The results are consistent with the notion that opaque information environments are more conducive to analysts engaging in reputational herding behavior where more capable analysts act first and less capable analysts follow. Additionally, analysts are more likely to issue forecast revisions subsequent to management earnings guidance in less opaque environments. Robustness tests indicate our operational measure of opacity is not subsumed by other measures of the information environment, namely information asymmetry.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 12, 2016
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