The Journal of Finance

The Journal of Finance publishes leading research across all the major fields of finance. It is one of the most widely cited journals in academic finance, and in all of economics. Each of the six issues per year reaches over 8,000 academics, finance professionals, libraries, and government and financial institutions around the world. The journal is the official publication of The American Finance Association, the premier academic organization devoted to the study and promotion of knowledge about financial economics.

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Search results: 3.

The Dividend Disconnect

Published: 05/13/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12785


Many individual investors, mutual funds, and institutions trade as if dividends and capital gains are disconnected attributes, not fully appreciating that dividends result in price decreases. Behavioral trading patterns (e.g., the disposition effect) are driven by price changes instead of total returns. Investors rarely reinvest dividends, and trade as if dividends are a separate, stable income stream. Analysts fail to account for the effect of dividends on price, leading to optimistic price forecasts for dividend‐paying stocks. Demand for dividends is systematically higher in periods of low interest rates and poor market performance, leading to lower returns for dividend‐paying stocks.

Do Investors Value Sustainability? A Natural Experiment Examining Ranking and Fund Flows

Published: 08/09/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12841


Examining a shock to the salience of the sustainability of the U.S. mutual fund market, we present causal evidence that investors marketwide value sustainability: being categorized as low sustainability resulted in net outflows of more than $12 billion while being categorized as high sustainability led to net inflows of more than $24 billion. Experimental evidence suggests that sustainability is viewed as positively predicting future performance, but we do not find evidence that high‐sustainability funds outperform low‐sustainability funds. The evidence is consistent with positive affect influencing expectations of sustainable fund performance and nonpecuniary motives influencing investment decisions.

A Tough Act to Follow: Contrast Effects in Financial Markets

Published: 04/16/2018   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12685


A contrast effect occurs when the value of a previously observed signal inversely biases perception of the next signal. We present the first evidence that contrast effects can distort prices in sophisticated and liquid markets. Investors mistakenly perceive earnings news today as more impressive if yesterday's earnings surprise was bad and less impressive if yesterday's surprise was good. A unique advantage of our financial setting is that we can identify contrast effects as an error in perceptions rather than expectations. Finally, we show that our results cannot be explained by an alternative explanation involving information transmission from previous earnings announcements.