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Investors’ Decision To Trade Stocks – An Experimental Study

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Author Info

  • Uri Ben-Zion

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

  • Sharon Shafran

    ()
    ((M.A.),Department of Management and Economics, The Open University of Israel)

  • TAL SHAVIT

    ()
    (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics, Israel)

Abstract

This paper experimentally examines the behavior of investors when buying and selling stocks. This behavior was tested under different conditions, among them restrictions on asset holdings or different information conditions. Basic financial theory suggests that subjects buy and sell according to expectations regarding the future prices of assets. On the other hand, behavioral biases, such as the disposition effect, suggest that subjects are affected by past performance of assets. In a series of experiments, subjects were asked to allocate a given endowment among six assets. All the assets had the same normal distribution. The results show that when subjects were not restricted regarding the number of assets they were allowed to hold and were given information only on the asset they hold, the holding time for losing and winning assets was the same, indicating that there was no effect of past performance. On the other hand, when subjects were required to hold three assets at all times and replace one asset on each round, they tended to sell losing assets too soon and hold winning assets too long. The results also show that subjects who are given information on market returns tend to sell winning assets (relatively to the market) too soon and hold losing assets too long.

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File URL: http://www.ec.bgu.ac.il/monaster/admin/papers/0708.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0708.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bgu:wpaper:0708

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Related research

Keywords: Behavioral finance; Disposition effect; experimental economics; momentum; trading.;

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  1. Weber, Martin & Camerer, Colin F., 1998. "The disposition effect in securities trading: an experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 167-184, January.
  2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  3. Shefrin, Hersh & Statman, Meir, 1985. " The Disposition to Sell Winners Too Early and Ride Losers Too Long: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 777-90, July.
  4. Philip Brown & Nick Chappel & Ray Da Silva Rosa & Terry Walter, 2006. "The Reach of the Disposition Effect: Large Sample Evidence Across Investor Classes-super-," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 6(1-2), pages 43-78.
  5. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
  6. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan & Wermers, Russ, 1995. "Momentum Investment Strategies, Portfolio Performance, and Herding: A Study of Mutual Fund Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
  7. Schlarbaum, Gary G & Lewellen, Wilbur G & Lease, Ronald C, 1978. "Realized Returns on Common Stock Investments: The Experience of Individual Investors," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 299-325, April.
  8. Bremer, Marc & Kato, Kiyoshi, 1996. "Trading Volume for Winners and Losers on the Tokyo Stock Exchange," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(01), pages 127-142, March.
  9. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
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