Differences in Prior Beliefs, Differential Interpretation and the Consensus Effect of Quarterly Earnings Signals and Trading Volume

47 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015  

Rowland Atiase

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Accounting

Alex Dontoh

New York University (NYU) - Department of Accounting

Michael J. Gift

University of Macau

Date Written: November 27, 2015

Abstract

Models of financial economists including Karpoff (1986), Varian (1989), Holthausen and Verrecchia (1990), and Dontoh and Ronen (1993) have demonstrated that there are three distinct fundamental determinants of trading volume reaction to new information releases: first, the extent of differences in investors’ prior beliefs; second, differences in their interpretations of the information; and third, the level of consensus that the information release induces among them. Although these effects are well-understood theoretically, empirical studies that investigate trading volume reaction to the arrival of new information have tended to combine these three fundamental determinants, thereby masking their distinct incremental effects on trade. In this paper we examine all three potential sources of trade in response to information: heterogeneous prior beliefs, differential interpretation, and the consensus effect of the news. We find that all three of these effects have a distinct incremental impact on trading volume, thereby corroborating the theoretical models of financial economists.

Keywords: Empirical Capital Markets, Heterogeneous Prior Beliefs, Differential Interpretation, The Consensus Effect, Quarterly Earnings Signals, Trading Volume Reaction

JEL Classification: D84, G14, M41, G10

Suggested Citation

Atiase, Rowland and Dontoh, Alex and Gift, Michael J., Differences in Prior Beliefs, Differential Interpretation and the Consensus Effect of Quarterly Earnings Signals and Trading Volume (November 27, 2015). Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2702801

Rowland Atiase (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Accounting ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

Alex Dontoh

New York University (NYU) - Department of Accounting ( email )

40 West 4th Street, Suite 400
Suite 10-180
New York, NY 10012-1118
United States
212-998-0064 (Phone)
212-995-4004 (Fax)

Michael J. Gift

University of Macau ( email )

P.O. Box 3001
Macau

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