Seminar (Dept. of Accounting)

Copyfrom:Dept. of Accounting Time:2019-12-30

Theme:Crowd wisdom or rumor mill: The effect of investor attention on the stock coverage and accuracy of the information produced by grassroots analysts on social media

Speaker:Dr. Ke, Professor, National University of Singapore

Coordinator:Ye Kangtao, Gao Jingyu

Time:2020-01-02 14:00

Address:Room 404, Mingde Business Building




This study examines how investor attention affects the stock coverage and accuracy of the contents produced by grassroots analysts on social media. We argue that depending on investor sophistication, investor attention has a drastically different effect on grassroots analyst behavior. If investors are sophisticated enough to distinguish high quality from low quality analyst reports, grassroots analysts do not need to cater to the pre-existing level of investor attention – they can create investor attention by supplying high quality reports. However, if investors are not sophisticated, grassroots analysts may take advantage of the high attention from unsophisticated investors and produce noises. Our results are consistent with the latter argument. Specifically, we find that grassroots analysts produce more contents and explicit stock recommendations for the stocks with high pre-existing investor attention. However, these explicit stock recommendations are not associated with higher future stock abnormal returns. Moreover, individual investors do not “like” the stock recommendations with higher future stock abnormal returns more, which suggests that individual investors do not have the ability to distinguish valuable stock tips from noises. Consequently, accurate grassroots analysts do not receive more revenue from selling stock tips, and do not have a longer survival time on the social platform. We also exploit an exogenous variation in investor attention due to

measurement error for stocks whose names have ambiguous meanings, and find similar results.



Dr. Ke is a Professor of Accounting, Provost’s Chair, and Director of Asia Accounting Research Centre at the NUS Business School since 2015. He is a holder of the prestigious “Chang Jiang Scholar” title awarded by China’s Ministry of Education and the Li Ka Shing Foundation). He was the President of the Chinese Accounting Professors Association of North America (, a leading academic organization that promotes high-quality accounting research on China, the Asia Pacific region, and other emerging market economies. Dr. Ke’s primary research interests focus on the economic forces that determine the production and use of accounting information in business decisions. Dr. Ke’s recent research focuses on financial reporting, managerial incentives, and investor protection in emerging markets with a particular focus on China. His research has been published in all major accounting journals, including The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, and Contemporary Accounting Research.


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