Managerial Miscalibration

38 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2010 Last revised: 18 Sep 2013

Itzhak Ben-David

Ohio State University - Fisher College of Business, Finance Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John R. Graham

Duke University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Campbell R. Harvey

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 18, 2013

Abstract

Using a unique 10-year panel that includes more than 13,300 expected stock market return probability distributions, we find that executives are severely miscalibrated, producing distributions that are too narrow: realized market returns are within the executives’ 80% confidence intervals only 36% of the time. We show that executives reduce the lower bound of the forecast confidence interval during times of high market uncertainty; however, ex post miscalibration is worst during periods of high uncertainty. We also find that executives who are miscalibrated about the stock market show similar miscalibration regarding their own firms’ prospects. Finally, firms with miscalibrated executives seem to follow more aggressive corporate policies: investing more and using more debt financing.

Keywords: Overprecision, Overconfidence, Behavioral Bias, Behavioral Economics, Investment, Leverage, Expected Returns, Survey Methodology, Capital Structure, Executive Compensation, Risk, Volatility Forecasts, Market Forecasts, Debt Policy, Behavioral Finance, Risk Premium

JEL Classification: G31, G32, G35, D03, D22, D84

Suggested Citation

Ben-David, Itzhak and Graham, John R. and Harvey, Campbell R., Managerial Miscalibration (September 18, 2013). Quarterly Journal of Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1640552 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1640552

Itzhak Ben-David (Contact Author)

Ohio State University - Fisher College of Business, Finance Department ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Fisher 700D
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States
773 988 1353 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://fisher.osu.edu/fin/faculty/Ben-David/index.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://fisher.osu.edu/fin/faculty/Ben-David/

John Robert Graham

Duke University ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-7857 (Phone)
919-660-8030 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Campbell R. Harvey

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-7768 (Phone)
919-660-8030 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative ( email )

215 Morris St., Suite 300
Durham, NC 27701
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
3,997
Rank
1,615
Abstract Views
17,889