Removing Biases in Computed Returns: An Analysis of Bias in Equally-Weighted Return Indexes of REITs
27 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2010
Date Written: June 8, 2010
In this paper, we apply the method for removing the upward bias in returns in equally-weighted return indexes developed by Fisher, Weaver, and Webb (2010) to REIT stocks in the US. While we find significant bias in this index, two trends are evident: first, there is less overall bias than in Non-REIT stocks, and second, the bias of REIT stocks has declined over time. These trends are consistent with growing listings of REIT stocks on the NYSE, as well as with increasingly higher stock prices. They also support the hypothesis that there have been significant improvements in the market micro-structure environment of REIT stocks since the early 1970s. We further apply our methodology to REIT stocks listed the two countries with the largest number of REITs outside the US: Germany and Australia. The results support the hypothesized relationship between index bias and market microstructure environment.
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