Information Uncertainty and Expected Returns
57 Pages Posted: 7 May 2004
Date Written: May 5, 2004
This study examines the role of information uncertainty (IU) in predicting cross-sectional stock returns. We define IU in terms of value ambiguity, or the precision with which firm value can be estimated by knowledgeable investors at reasonable cost. Using several different proxies for IU, we show that: (1) On average, High-IU firms earn lower future returns (the mean effect), and (2) Price and earnings momentum effects are much stronger among high-IU firms (the interaction effect). These findings are consistent with theoretical models that feature investor overconfidence (Daniel et al. (1998)) and informational cascades (Bikhchandani et al. (1992)). Specifically, our evidence indicates that high IU exacerbates investor overconfidence and limits rational arbitrage.
Keywords: Information uncertainty, overconfidence, arbitrage cost, stock returns
JEL Classification: G12, G14, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation