Where Has All the Data Gone?
41 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2020 Last revised: 28 Jan 2023
Date Written: April 2020
As financial technology improves and data becomes more abundant, do market prices reflect this data growth? While recent studies documented rises in the information content of prices, we show that, across asset types, there is data divergence. Large, growth stock prices increasingly reflect information about future firm earnings. This is the rise reflected in the previous studies. But over the same time period, the information content of small and value firm prices was flat or declining. Our structural estimation allows us to disentangle these informational trends from changing asset characteristics. These facts pose a new puzzle: Amidst the explosion of data processing, why has this data informed only the prices of a subset of firms, instead of benefiting the market as a whole? Our structural model offers a potential answer: Large growth firms' data grew in value, as big firms got bigger and growth magnified the effect of these changes in size.
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