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What Drives the Disposition Effect? An Analysis of a Long-Standing Preference-Based Explanation

  • NICHOLAS BARBERIS
  • WEI XIONG

We investigate whether prospect theory preferences can predict a disposition effect. We consider two implementations of prospect theory: in one case, preferences are defined over "annual" gains and losses; in the other, they are defined over "realized" gains and losses. Surprisingly, the annual gain/loss model often fails to predict a disposition effect. The realized gain/loss model, however, predicts a disposition effect more reliably. Utility from realized gains and losses may therefore be a useful way of thinking about certain aspects of individual investor trading. Copyright (c) 2009 the American Finance Association.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-6261.2009.01448.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: 751-784

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:64:y:2009:i:2:p:751-784
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  1. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  2. Kyle, Albert S. & Ou-Yang, Hui & Xiong, Wei, 2006. "Prospect theory and liquidation decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 273-288, July.
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  5. Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Economics Working Papers E00-279, University of California at Berkeley.
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  9. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  10. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 8143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Francisco J. Gomes, 2005. "Portfolio Choice and Trading Volume with Loss-Averse Investors," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 675-706, March.
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  16. 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.
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