Social learning and analyst behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines whether sell-side equity analysts engage in “social learning” in which their earnings forecasts for certain firms are influenced by the forecasts and outcomes of “peer” analysts associated with other firms in their respective portfolios. We find that analyst optimism is negatively correlated with recent forecast errors, by peers, on other firms in the analyst's portfolio. An analyst is also more likely to issue “bold” forecasts when peers recently issued similar forecasts for other portfolio firms. Analysts learn more from peers with similar personal characteristics. Overall, social learning benefits analysts and improves their forecast accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Bold forecasts
  • Forecast accuracy
  • Sell-side equity analysts
  • Social learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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