Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Relative Investor Sentiment Measurement

Author(s): Xiang Gao, Kees Koedijk, Thomas Walther and Zhan Wang

Publication Date: June 2022

Keyword(s): accumulators, cognitive error, emotional bias, Momentum, preservers, return predictability and sentiment

Programme Area(s): Financial Economics

Abstract: This paper proposed a new metric to gauge investor sentiment using a relative valuation method. We combine investor behavioral traits and option-implied standard deviations under both the real-world probabaility valued most in the view of the uninformed investors and the risk-neutral space adopted when there exists no cognitive error. Given that investor sentiment can be thought of as risk taking by the uniformed exceeding their informed peers, we postulate that the differences between variance, skewness and kurtosis mesures for investors with various behavioral traits.We hence construct our investor sentiment proxy by summing these differentials of variance, skewness and kurtosis in weighted forms. It is documented that such relative investor sentiment metric exhibits economically and statistically strong return predictability for momentum porfolios. Our findings contribute to the extant literature by 1) complementing the Baker-Wurgler market-based investor sentiment index from a theoretical perspective 2) modelling investor sentiment via utilizing the informational content of options prices and 3) supporting the Barberis-Schleifer-Vishny definition of investor sentiment to be differences in financial market participant behavior.

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Bibliographic Reference

Gao, X, Koedijk, K, Walther, T and Wang, Z. 2022. 'Relative Investor Sentiment Measurement'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.