Are the wall street analyst rankings popularity contests?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We investigate the (sell-side) analyst rankings of Institutional Investor (111) and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), using data from 1993-2005. We find that factors with a primary component of recognition are the most important determinants of the rankings, although performance measures are statistically significant determinants in some cases. The single exception to this finding is with existing WSJ stars, where industry-adjusted investment-recommendation performance is the only significant determinant of repeating as a star. Further, in the year after becoming stars, the recommendations of WSJ stars are significantly worse than those of nonstars; and the recommendations and earnings forecasts of Ill stars, as well as the earnings forecasts of WSJ stars, are not significantly different from those of nonstars. We conclude that these rankings are largely "popularity contests." COPYRIGHT 2009, MICHAEL G. FOSTER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-437
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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