“Face Value: Do Perceived-Facial Traits Matter for Sell-side Analysts?” by Dr. Yakun Wang (Eric)
Dr. Yakun Wang (Eric)
Assistant Professor of Accounting
School of Management & Economics
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen
Applying social psychology models and machine learning techniques to the LinkedIn profile pictures of U.S. sell-side analysts, we extract three key perceived facial traits – approachability, attractiveness, and dominance. We show that approachable and dominant male analysts have more accurate forecasts, produce longer reports, and the effects are larger for firms with more fundamental uncertainty. While approachable analysts herd with managers, dominant analysts actively participate in conference calls and are less likely to herd. Attractiveness only improves forecast precision for junior analysts and the pre-Reg FD period. Approachable and attractive analysts are more likely to become all-star analysts. For female analysts, dominance is negatively associated with their forecast accuracy and career outcomes.