Investor Attention and Municipal Bond Returns
59 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017 Last revised: 11 Sep 2021
Date Written: September 10, 2021
We analyze the extent to which investors in opaque markets price information from more transparent markets. Exploiting the natural experiment created by bond-insurer insolvency, we show that municipal bond investors did not price early signs of insurers’ increased default risk revealed through the equity and CDS markets, and only reacted when these insurers were later downgraded. Institutional investors respond to information faster than retail investors, but still with significant delay. The severity of the investor inattention we document is relevant to the current debate over the costs and benefits of SEC proposals to improve the timeliness and quality of local government disclosure.
Keywords: Market segmentation, market efficiency, municipal bonds, bond return indices, bond insurance, investor attention
JEL Classification: D82, D83, G12, G14, H74, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation