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Investor Sentiment Measures

Abstract

This paper compares investor sentiment measures based on consumer confidence surveys with measures extracted from the closed-end fund discount (CEFD). Our evidence suggests that these two kinds of sentiment measures do not correlate well with one another. For a short 2 - 4 year period in which we have direct investor sentiment survey data from UBS/Gallup, only the consumer confidence correlates well with investor sentiment. Further, only the consumer confidence based measure can robustly explain the small-firm return spread and the return spread between stocks held disproportionately by retail investors and those held by institutional investors. Surprisingly, there is even a hint that the consumer confidence measure can explain closed-end fund IPO activity, while the CEFD cannot. In sum, our evidence supports the view that sentiment plays a role in financial markets, but that the CEFD may be the wrong measure of sentiment.

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Research Papers in Economics

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Last time updated on 7/6/2012View original full text link

This paper was published in Research Papers in Economics.

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