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Investment decisions with loss aversion over relative consumption


  • Gebhardt, Georg


We study an exchange economy in which investors are loss averse over relative consumption, that is, they suffer a utility loss if they consume less than members of their reference group. As a consequence there is an incentive to hold the same portfolio of risky assets as the reference group. Thus, risk premia can be supported in equilibrium that diverge from the risk premia obtained without loss aversion over relative consumption. This effect may be used to explain time-varying risk premia that are empirically observed for many assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Gebhardt, Georg, 2011. "Investment decisions with loss aversion over relative consumption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 68-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:80:y:2011:i:1:p:68-73
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.02.011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    3. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    4. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    5. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    6. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory and Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53.
    7. Gomez, Juan-Pedro, 2007. "The impact of keeping up with the Joneses behavior on asset prices and portfolio choice," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 95-103, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amrei Lahno & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2015. "Peer effects in risk taking: Envy or conformity?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 73-95, February.
    2. Lahno, Amrei M., 2014. "Social anchor effects in decision-making under ambiguity," Discussion Papers in Economics 20960, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Loss aversion; Relative consumption;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity


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