Analyst Following and Market Liquidity
Posted: 13 Apr 2004
This paper investigates the relation between analyst characteristics (number of analysts following a firm and their forecast dispersion) and market liquidity characteristics (bid-ask spreads and depths and the adverse-selection component of the spread). Prior research has found contradictory results on the relation between analyst following and market liquidity and has offered differing theories on how analysts affect liquidity. While prior research has posited analysts as proxies for privately informed trade or as signals of information asymmetry, I hypothesize that analysts provide public information, implying that analyst following (forecast dispersion) should have a positive (negative) association with liquidity. Cross-sectional simultaneous estimations provide support for this hypothesis. The results are both statistically significant and economically important. Granger-causality tests indicate that analyst characteristics lead market liquidity characteristics. These results clarify the role of analysts in providing information to financial markets and highlight benefits of increased analyst following.
Keywords: Analysts Following, Bid-Ask Spreads, Information Asymmetry
JEL Classification: G10, G12, G14, G29, M41
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