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Stocks as Lotteries: The Implications of Probability Weighting for Security Prices

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  • Nicholas Barberis
  • Ming Huang
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    Abstract

    We study the asset pricing implications of Tversky and Kahneman's (1992) cumulative prospect theory, with particular focus on its probability weighting component. Our main result, derived from a novel equilibrium with non-unique global optima, is that, in contrast to the prediction of a standard expected utility model, a security's own skewness can be priced: a positively skewed security can be "overpriced," and can earn a negative average excess return. Our results offer a unifying way of thinking about a number of seemingly unrelated financial phenomena, such as the low average return on IPOs, private equity, and distressed stocks; the diversification discount; the low valuation of certain equity stubs; the pricing of out-of-the-money options; and the lack of diversification in many household portfolios.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12936.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2007
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    Publication status: published as Barberis, Nicholas and Ming Huang. "Stocks as Lotteries: The Implications of Probability Weighting for Security Prices." American Economic Review 98, 5 (2008): 2006-2100.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12936

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    Cited by:
    1. Geetesh Bhardwaj & Gary Gorton & K. Rouwenhorst, 2008. "Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: The Inefficient Performance and Persistence of Commodity Trading Advisors," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2429, Yale School of Management.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2009. "Financial Literacy and Portfolio Diversification," CSEF Working Papers 212, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    3. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel & Lasse H. Pedersen, 2009. "Carry Trades and Currency Crashes," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 313-347 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2012. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," CEPR Discussion Papers 8934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Cécile Carpentier & Douglas Cumming & Jean-Marc Suret, 2009. "The Value of Capital Market Regulation: IPOs versus Reverse Mergers," CIRANO Working Papers 2009s-06, CIRANO.

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