Dispersion in Beliefs among Active Mutual Funds and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns
Erasmus University - Rotterdam School of Management
University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business
January 16, 2012
AFA 2013 San Diego Meetings Paper
This paper establishes a strong link between the dispersion in beliefs among active mutual funds, as revealed through their active holdings (i.e., deviations from benchmarks), and future stock returns. We find that after standard risk adjustments, stocks in the top decile portfolio with large increases in dispersion outperform those in the bottom decile by more than 1% per month. This effect of dispersion on returns is particularly pronounced among stocks with high information asymmetry; moreover, the lower returns on stocks with decreases in dispersion concentrate on those with binding short-sale constraints. These results are consistent with a subgroup of informed managers driving up the dispersion in active holdings when they place large bets after receiving positive information signals unobserved by their peers; conversely, binding short-sale constraints prevent them from fully using their negative private information, leading to low dispersion in active holdings.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 53
Keywords: Mutual Funds, Private Information, Dispersion in Beliefs, Short-Sale Constraints, Asymmetric Information
JEL Classification: G10, G11, G12, G14working papers series
Date posted: November 12, 2011 ; Last revised: December 16, 2012
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