Date: 06 May 2014

Information Diffusion in the U.S. Real Estate Investment Trust Market

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Abstract

This study examines the information diffusion process in the U.S. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) market with a focus on the impacts of changing market environments, information supply, and information demand on the lead-lag effect. The results suggest that a significant lead-lag relationship exists between the lagged returns of big REITs and the current returns of small REITs. This relationship has slightly decreased along with policy and environment changes that occurred in the U.S. REIT market during the study period from 1986 to 2012, while still remaining significant in the most recent REIT market. The process of information diffusion is becoming unstable in recent years and the reverse lead-lag effect from small REITs to big REITs is observed especially when REIT market liquidity and return volatility are high. The lead-lag effect among REITs is driven largely by slow adjustment to negative information, which is magnified by a lack of information supply, especially as demand for such information increases. Finally, information flow from REITs with more media coverage to those with less media coverage becomes even more sluggish than the information flow from big REITs to small REITs.