An experimental study of trading volume and divergence of expectations in relation to earnings announcement

The objective is to study from an experimental point of view investors' reactions to the announcement of annual earnings in terms of trading volume. Annual net income is seen by shareholders as the most important figure, since it is, for individual accounts, the basis for determining profit by the shareholders' general meeting. In the experiment, this is announced at the end of eight rounds of exchange. Every two periods, a fraction of the annual income is revealed to all the participants. Thus they periodically revise their expectations as to the annual results. The experiment shows that the divergence of expectations does not decrease when investors have more information about the final results. This is the main explanation for transactions in our experimental asset markets. However, too large a divergence prevents investors from trading. As expected, price changes in absolute value influence trading volume. But this effect is smaller than the impact of heterogeneity of expectations.
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