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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

RayBall

The nature and extent of our knowledge of stock market efficiency are examined. The development of “efficiency”, as a way of thinking about stock markets, is traced from…

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Abstract

The nature and extent of our knowledge of stock market efficiency are examined. The development of “efficiency”, as a way of thinking about stock markets, is traced from Roberts (1959) and Fama (1965) onward. The early work successfully introduced competitive economic theory to the study of stock markets and paved the way for a flood of empirical research on the relation between information and stock prices. This literature irreversibly altered our views on stock market behavior. The theory and evidence of seemingly‐rational use of information lay in sharp contrast to prior beliefs. It was associated with a widespread increase in respect for stock markets, financial markets, and markets in general, at the time. Researchers began developing and using a variety of formal models of security prices. Nevertheless, “efficiency” has its limitations, both theoretically (as a way of characterizing markets) and empirically (by stretching the quality of the data, the estimation techniques used, and our knowledge of price behavior in competitive markets). Extensive evidence of anomalies suggests either that the market systematically misprices securities or that the theoretical or empirical limitations are binding, or both. The less interesting research question now is whether markets are efficient, and the more interesting question is how we can learn more about price and transactions behavior in competitive stock markets. The concept of an “efficient stock market” has stimulated both insight and controversy since Fama (1965) introduced it to the financial economics literature. As a construct, “efficiency” models the stock market in terms of the reaction of prices to the flow of information. Like all theory choices, modelling the market in this fashion involved tradeoffs. The benefits included opening the literature to an abundance of high‐quality researchable data, covering a variety of information, and the resulting insights obtained on the role of information in setting prices. The opportunity costs included temporarily closing the literature to alternative ways of viewing stock markets, for example by modelling public information as a homogenous good and thus ignoring factors such as differences in beliefs among investors, differences in information processing costs, and the “animal spirits” that might drive group behavior. The costs also included reliance on particular asset‐pricing models of how an “efficientmarket would set prices. Not surprisingly, the ensuing deluge of research has produced some startling evidence, for and against the proposition that financial markets are “efficient”. Strongly‐conflicting views and puzzling anomalies remain. The early evidence seemed unexpectedly consistent with the theory. The theory, and its implications, also seemed clear at the time. After a period that seems short in retrospect, the growing body of evidence in favor of the efficient market hypothesis emerged as one of the most influential empirical areas of economics. Fama's (1970) review described a flourishing, coherent and confident literature. This research had an irreversible effect on our knowledge of and attitude toward stock markets, and financial markets generally. It coincided with an emergence of interest in, and respect for, all markets among economists and politicians, and influenced the worldwide trend toward “liberalizing” financial and other markets. The research consistently appeared to show an unbiased reaction of stock prices to public information. The property of “unbiased reaction” to public information, which formed the basis of the early definitions of “efficiency”, was seen to be an implication of rational, maximizing investor behavior in competitive securities markets (Fama 1965, p.4). Reduced to a basic level, the reasoning was that any systematicallybiased reaction to public information is costlessly publicly observable, and thus provides pure profit opportunities to be competed away. Characterizing the market in terms of its reaction to information is only one of many feasible ways of modelling stock price behavior, but it introduced economic theoryto the empirical studyof stock prices, which had received little serious attention from economists prior to that point. Despite the subsequent spate of anomalies, the early efficiency literature not only adapted standard economic theoryto provide the first formal economic insights into how stock prices behave, but it helped pave the way for an outporing of theoretical and empirical work on stock markets and capital markets in general. Subsequent empirical research was not as consistent with the theory. Evidence of “anomalous” return behavior now is widespread and well‐known. It generallytakes the form of variables (for example, size, day‐of‐the‐week, P/E ratio, market/book value ratio, rank of scaled earnings change, dividend yield) that are significantly but inexplicablyrelated to subsequent abnormal stock returns. Much of this evidence has defied rational economic explanation to date and appears to have caused many researchers to strongly qualify their views on market efficiency. Disagreement has not been not confined to the evidence. The literature has produced a variety of research designs, ranging from the “market model” of Fama, Fisher, Jensen and Roll (FFJR, 1969) to Shiller's (1981a,b) variance‐bounds tests. The very term “efficiency” has engendered controversy: there is a modest literature on precisely what efficiency means, on the role of transaction costs, and on whether efficient markets are logically feasible. Making sense of this literature requires careful definition of “efficiency” in this context and careful analysis of the type of evidence that has been offered in relation to it. This involves an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of both the theory of efficient markets, as a way of characterizing stock markets, and of the data and research designs used in testing it. Not surprisingly, a mixed conclusion emerges. While the concept of efficient markets was an audacious departure from the comparative ignorance and suspicion among economists of stock markets that preceded it, and provides valuable insights into their behavior, the concept has its limitations, in terms of both its internal logical coherence and its fit with the data. Section 1 ofthis survey sketches the development of the efficient market theory, reviewing the principal contributions in terms of their usefulness in guiding and evaluating empirical research. Section 2 addresses the limitations inherent in what is knowable about stock market efficiency, given the present state of theory about how security prices might behave in an “efficientmarket. It argues that there are binding limitations in the theoryof asset pricing, some of which are known and others of which are unknown or even unknowable. These limitations must be borne in mind when choosing whether to interpret the data as evidence of: (1) market efficiency, under the maintained hypothesis that a specific research design, including a specific model of asset pricing used to benchmark price behavior, correctly describes pricing in an efficient market; or (2) the ability of our models and research designs to encapsulate how prices behave in an efficient market, under the maintained hypothesis of efficiency. Against this background, section 3 then provides an assessment of the accomplishments of the theory of stock market efficiency, including an interpretation of the evidence. It focuses on the nature and influence of the evidence and does not attempt to provide a comprehensive literature taxonomy. The final section offers conclusions. The principal conclusion is that the theory of efficient markets has irreversibly enhanced our knowledge of and respect for stock markets (and perhaps for all financial market or even for markets in general) but that, like all theories, it is fundamentally flawed.

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Managerial Finance, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

Abstract

Following the Supreme Court’s 1988 decision in Basic, securities class plaintiffs can invoke the “rebuttable presumption of reliance on public, material misrepresentations regarding securities traded in an efficient market” [the “fraud-on-the-market” doctrine] to prove classwide reliance. Although this requires plaintiffs to prove that the security traded in an informationally efficient market throughout the class period, Basic did not identify what constituted adequate proof of efficiency for reliance purposes.

Market efficiency cannot be presumed without proof because even large publicly traded stocks do not always trade in efficient markets, as documented in the economic literature that has grown significantly since Basic. For instance, during the recent global financial crisis, lack of liquidity limited arbitrage (the mechanism that renders markets efficient) and led to significant price distortions in many asset markets. Yet, lower courts following Basic have frequently granted class certification based on a mechanical review of some factors that are considered intuitive “proxies” of market efficiency (albeit incorrectly, according to recent studies and our own analysis). Such factors have little probative value and their review does not constitute the rigorous analysis demanded by the Supreme Court.

Instead, to invoke fraud-on-the-market, plaintiffs must first establish that the security traded in a weak-form efficient market (absent which a security cannot, as a logical matter, trade in a “semi-strong form” efficient market, the standard required for reliance purposes) using well-accepted tests. Only then do event study results, which are commonly used to demonstrate “cause and effect” (i.e., prove that the security’s price reacted quickly to news – a hallmark of a semi-strong form efficient market), have any merit. Even then, to claim classwide reliance, plaintiffs must prove such cause-and-effect relationship throughout the class period, not simply on selected disclosure dates identified in the complaint as plaintiffs often do.

These issues have policy implications because, once a class is certified, defendants frequently settle to avoid the magnified costs and risks associated with a trial, and the merits of the case (including the proper application of legal presumptions) are rarely examined at a trial.

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The Law and Economics of Class Actions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-951-5

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2021

Richa Pandey and V. Mary Jessica

The purpose of this study to evaluate the evolving market efficiency of the housing market under the framework of adaptive market hypothesis and martingale difference…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study to evaluate the evolving market efficiency of the housing market under the framework of adaptive market hypothesis and martingale difference hypothesis taking a case of India.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a wild bootstrap version of the generalized spectral (GS) test in the rolling window framework to measure possible time-varying linear and non-linear dependence in the housing market.

Findings

The study finds that the Indian housing market, in general, is not efficient, and this efficiency is dynamic, which changes with time lending support to the adaptive market hypothesis. The study confirms that the evolutionary model of individuals adapting to a changing environment via behavioural biases affects the efficiency of the housing market, which leads to the evolving efficiency of the housing market prices.

Research limitations/implications

The study believes that the potential implications go beyond evolutionary forces and the adaptive market hypothesis , which, does not only depend on an individual's decision-making process but also on social psychology. Thus, a further attempt in this line, taking into account the social psychology and quantitative rigour towards drivers of evolving efficiency is suggested for future research.

Practical implications

The study suggests that there is a possibility of extra returns for market players, but not always. The Indian housing market has witnessed several landmark reforms in recent years, so it is believed that these reforms would decrease the inefficiency level of this market. Contrary to this, the study’s findings reveal an increase in the inefficiency level in recent years. As the Indian housing market shows evolving efficiency, it is believed that the increased inefficiency is temporary. The increased inefficiency can be regarded as the settlement stage of the various policy and technical reforms.

Originality/value

Confirming the presence or absence of adaptive efficiency in the housing market under possible non-linear dependence will be a significant addition to the existing literature.

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Property Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Solomon W. Giorgis Sahile, Daniel Kipkirong Tarus and Thomas Kimeli Cheruiyot

The purpose of this paper is to test market structure-performance hypothesis in banking industry in Kenya. Specifically, the structure-conduct-performance (SCP) and market

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1536

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test market structure-performance hypothesis in banking industry in Kenya. Specifically, the structure-conduct-performance (SCP) and market efficiency hypotheses were examined to determine how market concentration and efficiency affect bank performance in Kenya.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used secondary data of 44 commercial banks operating from 2000 to 2009. Three proxies to measure bank performance were used while market concentration and market share were used as proxies for market structure. Market concentration was measured using two concentration measures; the concentration ratio of the four largest banks (CR4) and Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, while market share was used as a proxy for efficiency. The study made use of generalized least square regression method.

Findings

The empirical results confirm that market efficiency hypothesis is a predictor of firm performance in the banking sector in Kenya and rejects the traditional SCP hypothesis. Thus, the results support the view that efficient banks maximize profitability.

Practical implications

The study provides insights into the role of efficiency in enhancing profitability in commercial banks in Kenya. It has managerial implication that profitable banks ought to be efficient and dispels the notion of collusive behavior as a precursor for profitability.

Originality/value

The paper fills an important gap in the extant literature by proving insights into what determines bank profitability in banking sector in Kenya. Although this area is rich in research, little work has been conducted in the developing economies and in particular no study in the knowledge has addressed this critical issue in Kenya.

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International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Reyhan Can and H. Isın Dizdarlar

Introduction: According to the effective market hypothesis, investors act rationally when making an investment decision. The hypothesis assumes that investors invest in a…

Abstract

Introduction: According to the effective market hypothesis, investors act rationally when making an investment decision. The hypothesis assumes that investors invest in a way that maximizes their returns, taking into account the new information received. If the information released on the market is interpreted in the same way by all investors, no investor would be able to earn above the market. This hypothesis is valid in case of efficient markets. In the event that investors show irrational behavior to the information released on the market, the markets move away from efficiency. Overreaction behavior is one of the non-rational behaviors of investors. Overreaction behavior involves investors overreacting by misinterpreting the new information released to the market. According to De Bondt and Thaler’s (1985), overreaction hypothesis in the event that investors overreact to the news coming to the market, after a period the false evaluation, the price of the security is corrected with the reversal movement, without the need of any positive or negative information. Aim: The purpose of this study is to examine investors’ overreaction behavior in mergers and acquisitions. For this purpose, overreaction behavior was analyzed for companies whose stocks are traded on the Borsa Istanbul, which were involved in mergers or acquisitions. Method: In the study, companies that made mergers and acquisitions for the period 2007–2017 were determined, and abnormal returns and cumulative abnormal returns were calculated by using monthly closing price data of these companies. Moreover, whether investors overreact to the merger and acquisition decision is examined separately for one-, three- and five-year periods. Findings: As a result of the research, it has been observed that there is a reverse return for one-, three-, and five-year periods. However, it has been determined that the overreaction hypothesis is valid for only one year.

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Contemporary Issues in Social Science
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-931-3

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2020

Muhammad Naeem Shahid, Malik Jehanzeb, Aamir Abbas, Ahsan Zubair and Mahmood A. Hussain Akbar

The purpose of this paper is to boost the existing literature on adaptive market hypothesis (AMH) as it first time links predictability of gold, silver and metal returns…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to boost the existing literature on adaptive market hypothesis (AMH) as it first time links predictability of gold, silver and metal returns with AMH which permits the predictability of returns to vary over time.

Design/methodology/approach

To know whether commodity (gold, silver and metal) market is efficient or not, the commodity returns are observed by using appropriate linear time series tests (variance ratio test, runs test and auto-correlation test). To capture the varying efficiency of three commodities, the study employs subsamples of five years and all sub-samples are exposed to linear econometric tests to reveal how market efficiency (independency of returns) has behaved over time.

Findings

It is found that the commodity market (gold, silver and metal) is adaptive because fluctuation is observed in the market efficiency. Returns of all three commodities go under the periods of efficiency and inefficiency. Thus, AMH is the better description of behavior of commodity markets than traditional efficient market hypothesis.

Research limitations/implications

Choice of sub-sample in the study is the first limitation as the authors employ a sub-sample comprising five years. Second, commission, fee and taxes (transection cost) are ignored in the study. Finally, the results are reported on the basis of linear econometric tests. In future, longer time period sub-sample analysis is suggested by the study to explore the varying nature of the commodities. Moreover, rolling window analysis may be a more appropriate method to elucidate the idea of AMH in further research. It is further suggested that the method used in the study could be helpful and adapted to examine other commodities (metal and agriculture), bonds and equity markets around the world.

Practical implications

The study will provide a better investment model which can enable the investors to seek more returns in future. Moreover, this research can be extended to explore multiple issues like adaptive behavior of returns from crypto currencies, bonds, stocks and real estate investment trusts.

Social implications

As all the linear tests reveal that almost all the commodities show inefficient behavior in full sample period, it is clear that past prices widely would be helpful to predict the future prices at NYSE; furthermore, investors can use the time-varying information to reduce the risk of investment at NYSE. The study is helpful for individual investors as well as portfolio managers and brokers to forecast the prices on the bases of findings.

Originality/value

The paper identifies the need to study why behavior of commodity returns varies over time.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Raj S. Dhankar and Devesh Shankar

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relevance and evolution of adaptive markets hypothesis (AMH) that has gained traction in the recent years, as it provides a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the relevance and evolution of adaptive markets hypothesis (AMH) that has gained traction in the recent years, as it provides a dynamic perspective to the concept of informational efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses several issues related to the concept of informationally efficient markets that have indicated efficient market hypothesis to be an incomplete portrayal of stock market behavior.

Findings

The authors find that a strict and perpetual adherence to informational efficiency is highly unlikely, and AMH provides a much more plausible description of the behavior of stock markets.

Originality/value

The authors provide a description of studies that examine the testable implications of AMH.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

Anthony Mananyi and John J. Struthers

Examines the “efficient markethypothesis for cocoa beans traded on the London Futures and Options Exchange. Futures market efficiency implies that futures prices…

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2186

Abstract

Examines the “efficient markethypothesis for cocoa beans traded on the London Futures and Options Exchange. Futures market efficiency implies that futures prices accurately incorporate all currently known information. Consequently, current futures prices are unbiased forecasts of subsequent cash and/or futures prices and traders cannot earn abnormal returns. The recently developed cointegration theory is utilized to test efficiency in the London Cocoa Market. A problem in testing market efficiency is that the relevant economic data series may be non‐stationary. Under these circumstances, conventional statistical procedures for testing market efficiency are no longer appropriate. The use of a cointegration methodology properly accounts for the non‐stationary properties of futures and spot price series. The price data are monthly data from the London Futures and Options Exchange and they cover the period from 1985‐1991. The evidence presented here does not support the efficient market hypothesis.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Sheung Chi Chow, Yongchang Hui, João Paulo Vieito and ZhenZhen Zhu

This paper aims to examine the impact of stock market liberalization on efficiency of the stock markets in Latin America.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of stock market liberalization on efficiency of the stock markets in Latin America.

Design/methodology/approach

Daily stock indices from Latin American countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, are used in the analysis. To examine the impact of stock market liberalization on efficiency, the authors use several approaches, including the runs test, Chow–Denning multiple variation ratio test, Wright variance ratio test, the martingale hypothesis test and the stochastic dominance (SD) test, on the above Latin American stock market indices.

Findings

The authors find that stock market liberalization does not improve stock market efficiency in Latin America.

Originality/value

This investigation is among the first to examine the impact of stock market liberalization on the efficiency of the stock markets. It is among the first to examine the impact of stock market liberalization on the efficiency of the Latin American stock markets. It is also among the first to apply the martingale hypothesis test and a SD approach on issue about efficient market.

Details

Studies in Economics and Finance, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1086-7376

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1979

Richard Dobbins and Stephen F. Witt

The efficient market hypothesis (EMH) asserts that share prices fully reflect all available information, any new or shock information being very rapidly incorporated into…

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3128

Abstract

The efficient market hypothesis (EMH) asserts that share prices fully reflect all available information, any new or shock information being very rapidly incorporated into the share price. This apparently simple hypothesis, if true, has very powerful implications for investment analysis and corporate management.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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