Which Investors Matter for Equity Valuations and Expected Returns?

Ralph S.J. Koijen, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, Robert J. Richmond, NYU Stern School of Business, and Motohiro Yogo, Princeton University

Based on an asset demand system, we develop a framework to quantify the impact of market trends and changes in regulation on asset prices, price informativeness, and the wealth distribution. Our leading applications are the transition from active to passive investment management and climate-induced shifts in asset demand. The transition from active to passive investment management had a large impact on equity prices but a small impact on price informativeness because capital did not flow from more to less informed investors on average. This finding is based on a new measure of investor-level informativeness that identifies which investors are more informed about future profitability. Climate-induced shifts in asset demand have a potentially large impact on equity prices and the wealth distribution, implying capital gains for passive investment advisors, pension funds, insurance companies, and private banking and capital losses for active investment advisors and hedge funds.