Removing Biases in Computed Returns: An Analysis of Bias in Equally-Weighted Return Indexes of REITs

Lawrence Fisher, Daniel G. Weaver, Gwendolyn Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this paper, we apply the method for removing the upward bias in returns in equally-weighted return indexes developed by Fisher, Weaver, and Webb (2010) to real estate investment trust (REIT) stocks in the US. While we find significant bias in this index, two trends are evident: first, there is less overall bias than in non-REIT stocks, and second, the bias of REIT stocks has declined over time. These trends are consistent with growing listings of REIT stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), as well as with increasingly higher stock prices. They also support the hypothesis that there have been significant improvements in the market micro-structure environment of REIT stocks since the early 1970s. We further apply our methodology to REIT stocks listed in the two countries with the largest number of REITs outside the US: Germany and Australia. The results support the hypothesized relationship between index bias and market micro-structure environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-71
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Real Estate Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Urban Studies
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Bias in computed returns
  • Index construction
  • REITs
  • Unbiased market index


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