Does Competition Induce Analyst Effort? Evidence from a Natural Experiment of Broker Mergers
42 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2020
Date Written: August 2, 2020
Hong and Kacperczyk (2010) document that decreases in analyst competition due to broker mergers encourage analysts to please managers, leading to greater consensus optimism bias. We propose three additional effects of analyst competition. The analyst effort hypothesis suggests that weaker competition reduces analysts’ incentives to collect and analyze information. The herding hypothesis argues that weaker competition reduces analysts’ career concerns, which in turn reduces herding incentives. The strategic deviation hypothesis implies that weaker competition alleviates analysts’ incentives to strategically deviate from others. We find that after broker mergers, analysts follow fewer firms and switch their coverage from firms with more to those with less R&D expenses. They weigh their private information less when it is unfavorable. At the same time, their forecasts become more dispersed. All these findings appear to be more consistent with the analyst effort hypothesis than the herding or strategic deviation hypothesis.
Keywords: Analyst forecast activities, Competition, Analyst effort, Herding, Strategy deviation
JEL Classification: G14, G17, G24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation