Financial attention and the demand for information

Mahmoud Qadan, Maher Zoua'bi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study tracks the daily traffic on the leading financial websites in the US, and uses the attention paid to these websites as a proxy for retailers’ aggregate demand for information. We determine that attention to financial websites is positively correlated with uncertainty and negatively associated with investor sentiment. Furthermore, market shocks drive attention to financial websites, and heightened attention predicts an increase in the following trading day's volatility. Consistent with the information arrival hypothesis, the search for information is higher on Mondays and Tuesdays and lower on weekends. As some retail investors are noise traders, attention to financial websites has a positive effect on volatility and increases trading volume. Finally, using 5-min intraday data, we construct a daily-implied risk aversion proxy and provide evidence supporting the theoretical contention that risk-averse agents gather information as a hedge against uncertainty. However, our findings do not support the avoidance of information theories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101450
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Attention
  • Demand for information
  • Google
  • Investor sentiment
  • Noise traders
  • Retail investors
  • Search engines
  • Volatility risk premium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Applied Psychology


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