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Rank matters–The impact of social competition on portfolio choice

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  • Dijk, Oege
  • Holmen, Martin
  • Kirchler, Michael

Abstract

Tournament incentives’ schemes have been criticized for inducing excessive risk-taking among financial market participants. In this paper we investigate how relative performance-based incentive schemes and status concerns for higher rank influence portfolio choice in laboratory experiments. We find that both underperformers and over-performers adapt their portfolios to their current relative performance, preferring either positively or negatively skewed assets, respectively. Most importantly, these results hold both when relative performance is instrumental for higher payoffs in a tournament and when it is only intrinsically motivating and not payout-relevant. We find no effects when no relative performance information is given.

Suggested Citation

  • Dijk, Oege & Holmen, Martin & Kirchler, Michael, 2014. "Rank matters–The impact of social competition on portfolio choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 97-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:66:y:2014:i:c:p:97-110
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.11.010
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Cueva Herrero & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene & Giovanni Ponti & Josefa Tomás Lucas, 2016. "The disposition effect: who and when?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2016-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    2. Simon Gaechter & Lingbo Huang & Martin Sefton, 2017. "Disappointment Aversion and Social Comparisons in a Real-Effort Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 6489, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Hett, Florian & Schmidt, Felix, 2018. "Pushing through or slacking off? Heterogeneity in the reaction to rank feedback," SAFE Working Paper Series 203, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    4. repec:kap:theord:v:82:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11238-016-9578-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Harald W. Lang, 2016. "You Are Not Alone: Experimental Evidence on Risk Taking When Social Comparisons Matter," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-12, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    6. Fang, Dawei & Holmén, Martin & Kleinlercher, Daniel & Kirchler, Michael, 2017. "How tournament incentives affect asset markets: A comparison between winner-take-all tournaments and elimination contests," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-27.
    7. Michael Kirchler & Florian Lindner & Utz Weitzel, 2016. "Rankings and Risk-Taking in the Finance Industry," Working Papers 2016-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Mar 2018.
    8. Eriksen, Kristoffer W & Kvaløy, Ola, 2015. "2015/01 No guts, no glory: An experiment on excessive risk-taking by Kristoffer W. Eriksen and Ola Kvaløy," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2015/1, University of Stavanger.
    9. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:316-328 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Pollmann, Monique M.H. & Potters, Jan & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2014. "Risk taking by agents: The role of ex-ante and ex-post accountability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 387-390.
    11. repec:eee:finmar:v:35:y:2017:i:c:p:104-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D & Giga, Aleksandar & Zapatero, Fernando, 2016. "Skewness Seeking in a Dynamic Portfolio Choice Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 11056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Philip Brookins & Jennifer Brown & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2016. "Peer Information and Risk-taking under Competitive and Non-competitive Pay Schemes," NBER Working Papers 22486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Baghestanian, Sascha & Gortner, Paul J. & van der Weele, Joël J., 2014. "Peer effects and risk sharing in experimental asset markets," SAFE Working Paper Series 67, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    15. Linde, Jona & Sonnemans, Joep, 2015. "Decisions under risk in a social and individual context: The limits of social preferences?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 62-71.
    16. Michael Kirchler & Florian Lindner & Utz Weitzel, 2018. "Delegated decision making and social competition in the finance industry," Working Papers 2018-07, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Portfolio choice; Tournaments; Social competition; Experimental finance;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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