The Real Effects of Investor Sentiment

70 Pages Posted: 8 May 2003

See all articles by Christopher Polk

Christopher Polk

London School of Economics

Paola Sapienza

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2003

Abstract

Does inefficiency of financial markets have real consequences? Or does it only result in transfers of wealth from noise traders to arbitrageurs? We study firm business investment to address this question. In our model, benevolent managers of overvalued companies invest in projects with negative net present value and managers of undervalued companies forego projects with positive net present value. Empirically, we find a positive relation between investment and a number of proxies for mispricing, controlling for investment opportunities and financial slack, suggesting that overpriced (underpriced) firms tend to over invest (under invest). Consistent with the predictions of our model, we find that investment is more sensitive to mispricing for firms with higher R&D intensity (suggesting longer periods of information asymmetry) or share turnover (suggesting that the firms' shareholders are short-term investors). We document similar patterns in the cross-section of average returns. Firms with relatively high (low) investment subsequently have relatively low (high) stock returns, after controlling for investment opportunities and other characteristics linked to return predictability. These patterns are stronger for firms with higher R&D intensity or higher share turnover.

Keywords: Behavioural finance, investments

JEL Classification: E22, G31, G32

Suggested Citation

Polk, Christopher and Sapienza, Paola, The Real Effects of Investor Sentiment (March 2003). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3826. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=405140

Christopher Polk (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/polk/

Paola Sapienza

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management - Department of Finance ( email )

Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-7436 (Phone)
847-491-5719 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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