Political Polarization in Financial News
47 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2020
Date Written: February 13, 2020
Political news is known to be polarized, but standard explanations for polarization do not apply to financial news. Nevertheless, we find strong evidence of political polarization in the tone and coverage of corporate financial news. In particular, we find that the tone of corporate financial news coverage is more positive, and the likelihood that good (bad) news is reported is higher (lower), if the firm is politically aligned with the news source. Such polarization implies that different market participants may be exposed to differing news about the same firm on the same day. Consistent with this argument, we find that disagreement between news sources increases trading volume, and these effects are larger for firms at the political extremes. Our paper highlights a novel source of bias in financial news that can be important for investors.
Keywords: Media slant, Financial news, Finance and politics, Trading volume
JEL Classification: G30, G12, G14, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation