Professor of Finance
The authors study the impact of noise traders’ limited attention on financial markets. They exploit episodes of sensational news (exogenous to the market) that distract noise traders. On “distraction days”, trading activity, liquidity, and volatility decrease, and prices reverse less among stocks owned predominantly by noise traders.These outcomes contrast sharply with those that result from the inattention of informed speculators and market makers, and are consistent with noise traders mitigating adverse selection risk. The authors discuss the evolution of these outcomes over time and the influence of technological changes.