EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Behavioral bias in number processing: Evidence from analysts’ expectations

Tristan Roger (), Patrick Roger and Alain Schatt ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2018, vol. 149, issue C, 315-331

Abstract: Research in neuropsychology shows that individuals process small and large numbers differently. Small numbers are processed on a linear scale, while large numbers are processed on a logarithmic scale. In this paper, we show that financial analysts process small prices and large prices differently. When they are optimistic (pessimistic), analysts issue more optimistic (pessimistic) target prices for small price stocks than for large price stocks. Our results are robust when controlling for the usual risk factors such as size, book-to-market, momentum, profitability and investments. They are also robust when we control for firm and analyst characteristics, or for other biases such as the 52-week high bias, the preference for lottery-type stocks and positive skewness, and the analyst tendency to round numbers. Finally, we show that analysts become more optimistic after stock splits. Overall, our results suggest that a deeply-rooted behavioral bias in number processing drives analysts’ return expectations.

Keywords: Financial analysts; Target prices; Behavioral bias; Number perception; Stock price magnitude (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268118300568
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:315-331

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.02.026

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().

 
Page updated 2020-09-07
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:315-331