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Prospect Theory and Reference Point Adaptation: Evidence from the US, China, and Korea

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  • Arkes, Hal
  • Hirshleifer, David
  • Jiang, Danling
  • Lim, Sonya

Abstract

We examined prospect theory and reference point adaptation following gains or losses using participants from China, Korea, and the US. Supporting prospect theory, we found in Studies 1 and 2 that subjects from all three countries generally exhibited loss aversion and a greater propensity for risk seeking in the loss domain than in the gain domain. In Study 3 we used the Becker, DeGroot, and Marschak (1964) procedure to ascertain the valuation subjects placed on a gamble after either a prior gain or a prior loss on a stock. After inferring the shift in each subject’s reference point following this prior gain or loss, we found that reference point adaptation following a gain exceeded that following a loss in all three countries. In our third study we also had subjects sell and then immediately repurchase a stock that had experienced a prior gain or loss, which was designed to “punctuate” or close the mental account containing the prior gain or loss. This manipulation caused an increase in reference point adaptation among the Americans but a decrease among the Asians.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4009.

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Date of creation: 09 Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4009

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Keywords: prospect theory; cross-cultural differences; reference point adaptation; mental accounting;

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References

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  1. Arkes, Hal & Hirshleifer, David & Jiang, Danling & Lim, Sonya, 2006. "Reference Point Adaptation: Tests in the Domain of Security Trading," MPRA Paper 4259, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Yates, J. Frank & Zhu, Ying & Ronis, David L. & Wang, Deng-Feng & Shinotsuka, Hiromi & Toda, Masanao, 1989. "Probability judgment accuracy: China, Japan, and the United States," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 145-171, April.
  3. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory And Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53, February.
  4. Kachelmeier, Steven J & Shehata, Mohamed, 1992. "Examining Risk Preferences under High Monetary Incentives: Experimental Evidence from the People's Republic of China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1120-41, December.
  5. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2000. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm146, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  6. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
  7. Strahilevitz, Michal A & Loewenstein, George, 1998. " The Effect of Ownership History on the Valuation of Objects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(3), pages 276-89, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  10. Lei Feng & Mark Seasholes, 2005. "Do Investor Sophistication and Trading Experience Eliminate Behavioral Biases in Financial Markets?," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 305-351, 09.
  11. Benartzi, Shlomo & Thaler, Richard H, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92, February.
  12. Elke U. Weber & Christopher Hsee, 1998. "Cross-Cultural Differences in Risk Perception, but Cross-Cultural Similarities in Attitudes Towards Perceived Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1205-1217, September.
  13. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
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  15. repec:rus:hseeco:278562 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
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