The Search for Peer Firms: When Do Crowds Provide Wisdom?


Lee, Charles M. C., Paul Ma, and Charles CY Wang. “The Search for Peer Firms: When Do Crowds Provide Wisdom?” Working Paper.


We compare the performance of a comprehensive set of alternative peer identification schemes. Our results show the peer firms identified from aggregation of informed agents' revealed choices in Lee, Ma, and Wang (2014) perform best, followed by peers with the highest overlap in analyst coverage. Conversely, peers firms identified by Google and Yahoo Finance, as well as product market competitors gleaned from 10-K disclosures, turned in consistently worse performances. We contextualize these results in a simple model that predicts when information aggregation across heterogeneously informed individuals is likely to lead to improvements in dealing with the problem of economic benchmarking.


Last updated on 09/08/2017