Article | Journal of Finance | August 2006

Predicting Returns with Managerial Decision Variables: Is There a Small-Sample Bias?

by Malcolm Baker, Ryan Taliaferro and Jeffrey Wurgler


Many studies find that aggregate managerial decision variables, such as aggregate equity issuance, predict stock or bond market returns. Recent research argues that these findings may be driven by an aggregate time-series version of Schultz's (2003, Journal of Finance 58, 483-517) pseudo market-timing bias. Using standard simulation techniques, we find that the bias is much too small to account for the observed predictive power of the equity share in new issues, corporate investment plans, insider trading, dividend initiations, or the maturity of corporate debt issues.

Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Fairness; Managerial Roles; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Equity; Bonds; Financial Markets; Investment; Capital Markets; Borrowing and Debt; Investment Return;


Baker, Malcolm, Ryan Taliaferro, and Jeffrey Wurgler. "Predicting Returns with Managerial Decision Variables: Is There a Small-Sample Bias?" Journal of Finance 61, no. 4 (August 2006): 1711–1730. (Section V of "Pseudo Market Timing and Predictive Regressions,” NBER Working Paper Series, No. 10823, contains additional analyses.)