Employee Sentiment and Stock Returns
53 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 28, 2020
We propose an employee sentiment index, which complements investor sentiment and manager sentiment indices, and find that high employee sentiment predicts a subsequent low market return, significant both in- and out-of-sample. The predictability of the employee sentiment index can also deliver sizable economic gains for mean-variance investors in asset allocation. The employee sentiment’s impact is stronger among employees who work in the headquarters state and among less experienced employees. The economic driving force of the predictability is distinct from those of investor sentiment and manager sentiment: high employee sentiment leads to high contemporaneous wage growth due to immobility, which in turn results in subsequently lower firm cash flow and lower stock return.
Keywords: Employee Sentiment, Glass-door, Return Predictability, Extrapolative Expectation
JEL Classification: C22, C53, G11, G12, G17
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