The Revolving-Door of Sell-Side Analysts

The Accounting Review, Forthcoming

61 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2014 Last revised: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Ben Lourie

Ben Lourie

University of California, Irvine

Date Written: January 1, 2018


Equity analysts are often hired by firms they cover. I document the extent to which this revolving door phenomenon impairs analysts’ independence. I do this by examining the presence of biased research reports issued during the year before analysts are employed by a firm they cover. I find that during their final year, revolving door analysts bias their EPS forecasts, their target prices, and their recommendations in a direction that suggests that they are attempting to gain favor from their prospective employers. Specifically, relative to other analysts, revolving door analysts issue more optimistic reports on the firms that hire them, and they issue more pessimistic reports on firms that do not hire them. These results suggest the presence of strategic bias, although more innocuous interpretations cannot be completely ruled out.

Keywords: revolving door, equity analysts, conflicts of interest, career concerns

JEL Classification: G14, G17, G24, G28, M41

Suggested Citation

Lourie, Ben, The Revolving-Door of Sell-Side Analysts (January 1, 2018). The Accounting Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Ben Lourie (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Irvine, CA 92697-3125
United States

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