Is Investor Attention for Sale? The Role of Advertising in Financial Markets

Joshua Madsen, Marina Niessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Prior research documents capital market benefits of increased investor attention to accounting disclosures and media coverage; however, little is known about how investors and markets respond to attention-grabbing events that reveal little nonpublic information. We use daily firm advertising data to test how advertisements, which are designed to attract consumers' attention, influence investors' attention and financial markets (i.e., spillover effects). Exploiting the fact that firms often advertise at weekly intervals, we use an instrumental variables approach to provide evidence that print ads, especially in business publications, trigger temporary spikes in investor attention. We further find that trading volume and quoted dollar depths increase on days with ads in a business publication. We contribute to research on how management choices influence firms' information environments, determinants and consequences of investor attention, and consequences of advertising for financial markets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-795
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Accounting Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • G14
  • G41
  • M37
  • M41
  • advertising
  • investor attention
  • spillover effects

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