David Hirshleifer

David Hirshleifer
University of California, Irvine | UCI · Paul Merage School of Business

PhD, University of Chicago

About

280
Publications
70,889
Reads
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33,799
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2005 - present
January 2001 - December 2005

Publications

Publications (280)
Article
We study how the arrival of macro-news affects the stock market's ability to incorporate the information in firm-level earnings announcements. Existing theories suggest that macro and firm-level earnings news are attention substitutes; macro-news announcements crowd out firm-level attention, causing less efficient processing of firm-level earnings...
Article
We document persistent superior trading performance among a subset of individual investors. Investors classified in the top performance decile in the first half of our sample subsequently earn risk-adjusted returns of about 6% per year. These returns are not confined to stocks in which the investors are likely to have inside information, nor are th...
Article
Biased information about the payoffs received by others can drive innovation, risk taking, and investment booms. We study this cultural phenomenon using a model based on two premises. The first is a tendency for large successes, and the actions that lead to them, to be more salient to onlookers than small successes or failures. The second premise i...
Article
The thoughts and behaviors of financial market participants depend upon adopted cultural traits, including information signals, beliefs, strategies, and folk economic models. Financial traits compete to survive in the human population and are modified in the process of being transmitted from one agent to another. These cultural evolutionary process...
Preprint
We review the theory of information cascades and social learning. Our goal is to describe in a relatively integrated and accessible way the more important themes, insights and applications of the literature as it has developed over the last thirty years. We also highlight open questions and promising directions for further theoretical and empirical...
Article
We review the theory of information cascades and social learning. Our goal is to describe in a relatively integrated and accessible way the more important themes, insights and applications of the literature as it has developed over the last thirty years. We also highlight open questions and promising directions for further theoretical and empirical...
Article
We offer a new social approach to investment decision making and asset prices. Investors discuss their strategies and convert others to their strategies with a probability that increases in investment returns. The conversion rate is shown to be convex in realized returns. Unconditionally, active strategies (e.g., high variance and skewness) dominat...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that chief executive officer (CEO) exploratory mindset (inherent desire to search for novel ideas and long-term orientation) promotes innovation. Firms with CEOs with PhD degrees (PhD CEOs) produce more exploratory patents with greater novelty, generality, and originality. PhD CEOs engage less in managing earnings and stock prices, inves...
Article
Full-text available
We test how market overvaluation affects corporate innovation. Estimated stock overvaluation is strongly associated with measures of innovative inventiveness (novelty, originality, and scope), as well as research and development (R&D) and innovative output (patent and citation counts). Misvaluation affects R&D more via a nonequity channel than via...
Article
I discuss a new intellectual paradigm, social economics and finance —the study of the social processes that shape economic thinking and behavior. This emerging field recognizes that people observe and talk to each other. A key, underexploited building block of social economics and finance is social transmission bias : systematic directional shift i...
Article
We examine the causal effect of limits to arbitrage on 11 well‐known asset pricing anomalies using the pilot program of Regulation SHO, which relaxed short‐sale constraints for a quasi‐random set of pilot stocks, as a natural experiment. We find that the anomalies became weaker on portfolios constructed with pilot stocks during the pilot period. Th...
Article
We present evidence of first impression bias among finance professionals in the field. Equity analysts’ forecasts, target prices, and recommendations suffer from first impression bias. If a firm performs particularly well (poorly) in the year before an analyst follows it, that analyst tends to issue optimistic (pessimistic) evaluations. Consistent...
Article
Full-text available
Human populations in many countries have undergone a phase of demographic transition, characterized by a major reduction in fertility at a time of increased resource availability. A key stylized fact is that the reduction in fertility is preceded by a reduction in mortality and a consequent increase in population density. Various theories have been...
Article
We propose a theoretically motivated factor model based on investor psychology and assess its ability to explain the cross-section of U.S. equity returns. Our factor model augments the market factor with two factors that capture long- and short-horizon mispricing. The long-horizon factor exploits the information in managers’ decisions to issue or r...
Article
Existing research has found cross-sectional seasonality of stock returns—the periodic outperformance of certain stocks during the same calendar months or weekdays. We hypothesize that assets’ different sensitivities to investor mood explain these effects and imply other seasonalities. Consistent with our hypotheses, relative performance across indi...
Article
The idea, based on Life History Theory, that the Industrial Revolution was a positive feedback process wherein prosperity induced prosperity-promoting preference shifts is just an intriguing speculation. The evidence does not distinguish this explanation from simple alternatives. For example, increased prosperity may have freed up time for individu...
Article
Identifying firm connections by shared analyst coverage, we find that a connected-firm (CF) momentum factor generates a monthly alpha of 1.68% (t = 9.67). In spanning regressions, the alphas of industry, geographic, customer, customer/supplier industry, single- to multi-segment, and technology momentum factors are insignificant/negative after contr...
Article
Psychological evidence indicates that decision quality declines after an extensive session of decision-making, a phenomenon known as decision fatigue. We study whether decision fatigue affects analysts’ judgments. Analysts cover multiple firms and often issue several forecasts in a single day. We find that forecast accuracy declines over the course...
Article
Evolved dispositions influence, but do not determine, how people think about economic problems. The evolutionary cognitive approach offers important insights but underweights the social transmission of ideas as a level of explanation. The need for a social explanation for the evolution of economic attitudes is evidenced, for example, by immense var...
Article
We model sequential bidding in a private value English auction when it is costly to submit or revise a bid. We show that, even when bid costs approach zero, bidding occurs in repeated jumps, consistent with certain types of natural auctions such as takeover contests. In contrast with most past models of bids as valuation signals, every bidder has t...
Preprint
The basic paradigm of asset pricing is in vibrant flux. The purely rational approach is being subsumed by a broader approach based upon the psychology of investors. In this approach, security expected returns are determined by both risk and misvaluation. This survey sketches a framework for understanding decision biases, evaluates the a priori argu...
Preprint
Behavioral finance studies the application of psychology to finance, with a focus on individual-level cognitive biases. I describe here the sources of judgment and decision biases, how they affect trading and market prices, the role of arbitrage and flows of wealth between more rational and less rational investors, how firms exploit inefficient pri...
Preprint
Psychological evidence indicates that decision quality declines after an extensive session of decision-making, a phenomenon known as decision fatigue. We study whether decision fatigue affects analysts’ judgments. Analysts cover multiple firms and often issue several forecasts in a single day. We find that forecast accuracy declines over the course...
Preprint
Previous empirical work on adverse consequences of CEO overconfidence raises the question of why firms would hire overconfident managers. Theoretical research suggests a reason, that overconfidence can sometimes benefit shareholders by increasing investment in risky projects. Using options- and press-based proxies for CEO overconfidence, we find th...
Article
We propose that innovative originality is a valuable organizational resource and that owing to limited investor attention and skepticism of complexity, greater innovative originality may be undervalued. We find that firms’ innovative originality strongly predicts higher, more persistent, and less volatile profitability and higher abnormal stock ret...
Article
We show that opportunistic insiders can be identified through the profitability of their trades prior to quarterly earnings announcements (QEAs) and that opportunistic trading is associated with various kinds of firm or managerial misconduct. A value-weighted trading strategy based on (not necessarily pre-QEA) trades of opportunistic insiders earns...
Article
Most applications of behavioral economics, finance, and accounting research to policy focus on alleviating the adverse effects of individuals’ biases and cognitive constraints (e.g. through investor protection rules or nudges). We argue that it is equally important to understand how psychological bias can cause a collective dysfunction – bad accoun...
Article
The review process for academic journals in economics has grown vastly more extensive over time. Journals demand more revisions, and papers have become bloated with numerous robustness checks and extensions. Even if the extra resulting revisions do on average lead to improved papers--a claim that is debatable--the cost is enormous. We argue that mu...
Article
In Chinese culture, certain digits are lucky and others unlucky. We test how such numerological superstition affects financial decision in the China initial public offering (IPO) market. We find that the frequency of lucky numerical stock listing codes exceeds what would be expected by chance. Also consistent with superstition effects, newly listed...
Article
Behavioral finance studies the application of psychology to finance, with a focus on individual-level cognitive biases. I describe here the sources of judgment and decision biases, how they affect trading and market prices, the role of arbitrage and flows of wealth between more rational and less rational investors, how firms exploit inefficient pri...
Article
The last several decades have witnessed a shift away from a fully rational paradigm of financial markets toward one in which investor behavior is influenced by psychological biases. Two principal factors have contributed to this evolution: a body of evidence showing how psychological bias affects the behavior of economic actors; and an accumulation...
Article
The last several decades have witnessed a shift away from a fully rational paradigm of financial markets toward one in which investor behavior is influenced by psychological biases. Two principal factors have contributed to this evolution: a body of evidence showing how psychological bias affects the behavior of economic actors; and an accumulation...
Article
Individual investors often invest actively and lose thereby. Social interaction seems to exacerbate this tendency. In our model, senders' propensity to discuss their strategies' returns, and receivers' propensity to be converted, are increasing in sender return. A distinctive implication is that the rate of conversion of investors to active investi...
Article
Has the academic review process become excessive? In a setting where editors cannot distinguish significant flaws from mere blemishes, reviewers recommend the repair of blemishes in order to acquire reputations for high skill. In equilibrium, editors accede to reviewer insistence upon such cosmetic surgery. If blemishes are sometimes unremovable, d...
Article
We use the daily internet search volume from millions of households to reveal market-level sentiment in real time. By aggregating the volume of queries related to household concerns (e.g. "recession", "credit card debt" and "bankruptcy"), we construct Financial and Economic Attitudes Revealed by Search (FEARS) indices as new measures of investor se...
Article
Introducing extrapolative bias into a standard production-based model with recursive preferences reconciles salient stylized facts about business cycles (low consumption volatility, high investment volatility relative to output) and financial markets (high equity premium, volatile stock returns, low and smooth riskfree rate) with plausible levels o...
Article
Full-text available
We examine how investor preferences and beliefs affect trading in relation to past gains and losses. The probability of selling as a function of profit is V-shaped; at short holding periods, investors are more likely to sell big losers than small ones. There is little evidence of an upward jump in selling at zero profits. These findings provide no...
Article
We hypothesize that owing to limited investor attention and skepticism of complexity, innovative diversity (ID) of a firm’s patent portfolio will be undervalued. ID strongly predicts stock returns after controlling for firm characteristics and risk. High ID portfolios provide Carhart alphas of 56-81 basis points per month and stronger and less vola...
Article
In Chinese culture, certain digits are lucky and others unlucky. We test how such numerological superstition affects financial decision in the China IPO market. We find that the frequency of lucky numerical stock listing codes exceeds what would be expected by chance. Also consistent with superstition effects, newly listed firms with lucky listing...
Article
We test whether and how equity overvaluation affects corporate financing decisions using an ex ante misvaluation measure that filters firm scale and growth prospects from market price. We find that equity issuance and total financing increase with equity overvaluation, but only among overvalued stocks, and that equity issuance is more sensitive tha...
Article
Individual investors often invest actively and lose thereby. Social interaction seems to exacerbate this tendency. In the model here, senders' propensity to discuss their strategies' returns, and receivers' propensity to be converted, are increasing in sender return. The rate of conversion of investors to active investing is convex in sender return...
Article
We find that innovative efficiency (IE), patents or citations scaled by R&D, is a strong positive predictor of future returns after controlling for firm characteristics and risk. The IE-return relation is associated with the loading on a mispricing factor, and the high Sharpe ratio of the Efficient Minus Inefficient (EMI) portfolio suggests that mi...
Article
We provide a model in which a single psychological constraint, limited attention, explains both under- and overreaction to different earnings components. Investor neglect of earnings induces post-earnings announcement drift and the profit anomaly. Neglect of earnings components causes accrual and cash flow anomalies. The model offers empirical impl...
Chapter
IntroductionLimited AttentionOmission BiasIn-Group BiasFairness and Reciprocity NormsOverconfidenceAttention Cascades and Mood ContagionCultural Evolution of IdeologyA Comparison with the Rational Pressure Group ApproachSummary and Conclusions Discussion QuestionsAbout the Authors
Article
This paper examines whether market prices fully reflect the information contained in the level of net operating assets about the long-term sustainability of the firm’s financial performance. In our 1964-2002 sample, the ratio of net operating assets to beginning total assets (NOA) is a strong negative predictor for at least three years of future st...
Article
We examine the effects of nonmonetary benefits on overall executive compensation from the perspective of the living environment at the firm headquarters. Companies in polluted, high crime-rate or otherwise unpleasant places pay higher compensation to their CEOs than companies locating in more livable places. This premium in pay for quality of life...
Article
Using options- and press-based proxies for CEO overconfidence (Malmendier and Tate 2005a, 2005b, 2008), we find that over the 1993-2003 period, firms with overconfident CEOs have greater return volatility, invest more in innovation, obtain more patents and patent citations, and achieve greater innovative success for given research and development (...
Article
This document provides an overview of the UMO factor. It describes its motivation, construction, and how to obtain it and use it. Behavioral theories suggest that investor misperceptions and market mispricing will be correlated across firms. The UMO factor uses equity and debt financing to identify common misvaluation across firms. UMO is a zero-in...
Article
Full-text available
We show empirically that firms behave remarkably similarly to how their CEOs behave personally in the context of leverage choices. Using a database of CEOs' leverage in their most recent home purchases, we find a positive, economically significant, robust relation between personal home leverage and corporate leverage in the cross-section and when w...
Article
Full-text available
The disposition effect (greater realization of winners than losers) is often taken as proof that investors have an inherent preference for realizing winners over losers. In contrast, we find that the disposition effect is not primarily driven by realization preference. The probability of selling as a function of profit is V-shaped, so that at short...
Article
Self-serving attribution bias (SAB, hereafter) is a type of misattribution bias in which CEOs attribute the outperformance of the company to their own abilities, and underperformance of the company to bad luck or the economy. Using the transcripts of CEO interviews on CNBC, we find that the stock market response to the interviews of CEOs with self-...
Article
Full-text available
We examine how experience affects the decisions of individual investors and institutions in IPO auctions to bid in subsequent auctions, and their bidding returns. We track bidding histories for all 31,476 individual investors and 1,232 institutional investors across all 84 IPO auctions during the period from 1995 to 2000 in Taiwan. For individual b...
Article
We find a positive association between short-selling and accruals during 1988-2009, and that asymmetry between the long and short sides of the accrual anomaly is stronger when constraints on short-arbitrage are more severe (low availability of loanable shares as proxied by institutional holdings). Short arbitrage occurs primarily among firms in the...
Article
We examined reference point adaptation following gains or losses in security trading using participants from China, Korea, and the US. In both questionnaire studies and trading experiments with real money incentives, reference point adaptation was larger for Asians than for Americans. Subjects in all countries adapted their reference points more af...
Article
We offer an explanation for the forward premium puzzle in foreign exchange markets based upon investor overconfidence. In the model, overconfident individuals overreact to their information about future inflation, which causes greater overshooting in the forward rate than in the spot rate. Thus, when agents observe a signal of higher future inflati...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral theories suggest that investor misperceptions and market mispricing will be correlated across firms. We use equity and debt financing to identify common misvaluation across firms. A zero-investment portfolio (UMO, Undervalued Minus Overvalued) built from repurchase and new issue firms captures comovement in returns beyond that in some st...

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