Recency Bias and the Cross-Section of International Stock Returns
61 Pages Posted: 1 May 2021 Last revised: 28 Nov 2022
Date Written: April 23, 2021
Investors often focus on recent information only, underestimating the relevance of data from the distant past. In consequence, the ordering of historical returns reliably predicts future stock performance in the cross-section. Using data from 49 countries, we comprehensively examine this anomaly within international markets. The average return differential between the high and low deciles of global stocks sorted on chronological return ordering equals 0.91% per month. The effect is distinctly robust among the biggest companies but exhibits substantial international heterogeneity. The mispricing prevails in countries characterized by high individualism and shareholder protection. Furthermore, down markets and periods of excessive volatility boost the abnormal returns.
Keywords: chronological return ordering, recency bias, behavioral finance, the cross-section of stock returns, asset pricing, return predictability, international markets
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G14, G15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation