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Debiasing the disposition effect by reducing the saliency of information about a stock's purchase price

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  • Frydman, Cary
  • Rangel, Antonio

Abstract

The disposition effect refers to the empirical fact that investors have a higher propensity to sell risky assets with capital gains compared to risky assets with capital losses, and it has been associated with low trading performance. We use a stock trading laboratory experiment to investigate if it is possible to reduce subjects’ tendency to exhibit a disposition effect by making information about a stock's purchase price, and thus about capital gains and losses, less salient. We compare two experimental conditions: a high-saliency condition in which the purchase price of a stock is prominently displayed by the trading software, and a low-saliency condition in which it is not displayed at all. We find that individuals exhibit a disposition effect in the high-saliency condition, and that the effect is 25% smaller in the low-saliency condition. This suggests that it is possible to debias the disposition effect by reducing the saliency with which information about a stock's purchase price is displayed on financial statements and online trading platforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Frydman, Cary & Rangel, Antonio, 2014. "Debiasing the disposition effect by reducing the saliency of information about a stock's purchase price," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PB), pages 541-552.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:107:y:2014:i:pb:p:541-552
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.01.017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rau, Holger A., 2015. "The disposition effect in team investment decisions: Experimental evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 272-282.
    2. Hermann, Daniel & Mußhoff, Oliver & Rau, Holger A., 2017. "The disposition effect when deciding on behalf of others," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 332, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    3. Rau, Holger A., 2015. "The disposition effect in team investment decisions: Experimental evidence," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 256, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:eee:joepsy:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:79-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Li, Jianbiao & Niu, Xiaofei & Li, Dahui & Cao, Qian, 2018. "Using Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation to Test the Role of Self-Control in Investor Behavior," EconStor Preprints 177890, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    6. Alasdair Brown & Fuyu Yang, 2015. "Salience and the Disposition Effect: Evidence from the Introduction of `Cash-Outs' in Betting Markets," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 071, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    7. Marco Pleßner, 2017. "The disposition effect: a survey," Management Review Quarterly, Springer;Vienna University of Economics and Business, vol. 67(1), pages 1-30, February.
    8. Lucks, Konstantin, 2016. "The Impact of Self-Control on Investment Decisions," MPRA Paper 73099, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debiasing; Disposition effect; Attention; Behavioral finance; Realization utility; Decision mistakes;

    JEL classification:

    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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