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We study the dynamics of pricing efficiency in the equity REIT market from 1993 to 2014. We measure pricing efficiency at the firm level using variance ratios calculated from quote midpoints in the TAQ database. We find four main results. First, on average, the market is efficient, with variance ratios close to one. However, in any given year, there is considerable cross-sectional variation in variance ratios, suggesting at least some firms are priced inefficiently. Second, higher institutional ownership by active institutional investors is related to better pricing efficiency, while passive ownership does not reduce pricing efficiency. Third, REITs that are included in the S&P 500 and S&P 400 are priced more efficiently than other REITs. For the S&P 500 firms, we find evidence that this was purely driven by sample selection, while for S&P 400 firms, we find evidence that it is inclusion in the index that drives efficiency. Finally, we find evidence that firm investment, analyst coverage and debt capital raising activity can influence pricing efficiency.


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American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.