Information Choice, Uncertainty, and Expected Returns
77 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 31, 2019
We investigate how information choices impact equity returns and risk. Building upon the theory of Van Nieuwerburgh and Veldkamp (2010), we estimate a learning index that reflects the expected benefits of learning about an asset. High learning index stocks have 6.2% lower returns per year and an order of magnitude lower abnormal volatilities compared to low learning index stocks. Long run patterns in returns and volatilities, other measures of information flow, and the information environment surrounding earnings announcements confirm our interpretation of the learning index. Our findings support the model’s predictions and illustrate a novel empirical measure of investor learning.
Keywords: Information Choice, Learning, Expected Returns, Cross-Section of Stock Returns, Volatility, Risk, Uncertainty
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14
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