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Sensation Seeking, Overconfidence, and Trading Activity

  • MARK GRINBLATT
  • MATTI KELOHARJU

This study analyzes the role that two psychological attributes-sensation seeking and overconfidence-play in the tendency of investors to trade stocks. Equity trading data from Finland are combined with data from investor tax filings, driving records, and mandatory psychological profiles. We use these data, obtained from a large population, to construct measures of overconfidence and sensation seeking tendencies. Controlling for a host of variables, including wealth, income, age, number of stocks owned, marital status, and occupation, we find that overconfident investors and those investors most prone to sensation seeking trade more frequently. Copyright (c) 2009 the American Finance Association.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-6261.2009.01443.x
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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 64 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 549-578

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:64:y:2009:i:2:p:549-578
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  1. Richard Deaves & Erik Lüders & Guo Ying Luo, 2009. "An Experimental Test of the Impact of Overconfidence and Gender on Trading Activity," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 13(3), pages 555-575.
  2. Weiss, Laurence, 1982. "Information Aggregation and Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 31-42, January.
  3. Grinblatt, Mark & Keloharju, Matti, 2000. "The investment behavior and performance of various investor types: a study of Finland's unique data set," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 43-67, January.
  4. Grinblatt, Mark & Han, Bing, 2005. "Prospect theory, mental accounting, and momentum," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 311-339, November.
  5. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2002. "Online Investors: Do the Slow Die First?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 455-488, March.
  6. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
  7. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2000. "Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 773-806, 04.
  8. Milgrom, Paul & Stokey, Nancy, 1982. "Information, trade and common knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 17-27, February.
  9. Simon Gervais & Terrance Odean, . "Learning To Be Overconfident," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 5-97, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  10. John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey & Hai Huang, 2009. "Investor Competence, Trading Frequency, and Home Bias," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1094-1106, July.
  11. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2000. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm146, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  12. Julie Agnew & Pierluigi Balduzzi & Annika Sundén, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 193-215, March.
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