The purpose of this paper is to examine the long-run survival of earnings fixated traders.
This paper builds a theoretical model of a competitive securities market where both rational traders and earnings fixated traders receive an informational signal about the asset payoff before any trade occurs. Since earnings fixated traders underestimate the mean and variance of the risky asset payoff, earnings fixated traders is shown to make less expected profits than rational traders.
If traders’ types replicate according to the relative profitability of their trading strategies, then earnings fixated traders will disappear in the long run. The results of this paper provide analytical support to Tinic’s (1990) intuition about the eventual disappearance of earnings fixated traders.
In the literature, the underestimation of risk is popularly viewed as the cause of irrational traders being better able to exploit the misvaluations (created by noise traders) than rational traders. Hence, it favors the survival of irrational traders over rational traders. However, this paper disapproves this intuition in the informational environment of the competitive securities market.
The market environment plays a crucial role in determining the long-run survival of irrational traders.
This paper is the first to present a theoretical result showing that in this informational environment of the competitive securities market, the underestimation of risk by irrational traders does not give them advantage over rational traders in exploiting the misvaluations (created by noise traders) as it does in Callen and Luo (2011) and Hirshleifer and Luo (2001).
The author would like to thank the author’s colleagues from the McMaster Univeristy for helpful comments and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for financial support.
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