Breadth of Ownership and Stock Returns

49 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2001 Last revised: 16 Sep 2001

See all articles by Joseph Chen

Joseph Chen

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Harrison G. Hong

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeremy C. Stein

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2001

Abstract

We develop a model of stock prices in which there are both differences of opinion among investors as well as short-sales constraints. The key insight that emerges is that breadth of ownership is a valuation indicator. When breadth is low i.e., when few investors have long positions in the stock this signals that the short-sales constraint is binding tightly, implying that prices are high relative to fundamentals and that expected returns are therefore low. Thus reductions (increases) in breadth should forecast lower (higher) returns. Using quarterly data on mutual fund holdings over the period 1979-1998, we find evidence supportive of this prediction: stocks whose change in breadth in the prior quarter places them in the lowest decile of the sample underperform those in the top change-in-breadth decile by 6.38% in the first twelve months after portfolio formation. After adjusting for size, book-to-market and momentum, the corresponding figure is 4.95%.

Suggested Citation

Chen, Joseph S. and Hong, Harrison G. and Stein, Jeremy C., Breadth of Ownership and Stock Returns (March 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8151. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=262106

Joseph S. Chen (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
(530) 752-7155 (Phone)
(530) 752-2924 (Fax)

Harrison G. Hong

Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeremy C. Stein

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-6455 (Phone)
617-496-7352 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://post.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/stein/stein.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
118
Abstract Views
5,386
rank
18,846
PlumX Metrics