Not all financial speculation is treated equally: Laypeople’s moral judgments about speculative short selling
Since the recent financial crisis, regulators and the general public have focused on financial speculation as one of its potential causes. In addition to the roles played by rating agencies and complicated financial engineering, speculative short sales have been put into question. However, laypeople’s moral judgments about this type of financial speculation have rarely been investigated in economic psychology. The present study aims to fill this gap. Across four studies, we find that laypeople’s moral judgments of short selling are significantly harsher than their judgments of long positions. Both successful (Study 1) and unsuccessful (Study 2) short selling receives harsher moral judgments. In addition, studies which manipulate the moral character of the shorted asset (Study 3) or the time horizon of the investment strategy (Study 4) support the conclusion that short selling is considered less moral than taking a similar long position. The results present consistent support for a judgment bias of economic laypeople in the domain of financial economics.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Baron, Jonathan & Kemp, Simon, 2004. "Support for trade restrictions, attitudes, and understanding of comparative advantage," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 565-580, October.
- Gangl, Katharina & Kastlunger, Barbara & Kirchler, Erich & Voracek, Martin, 2012. "Confidence in the economy in times of crisis: Social representations of experts and laypeople," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 603-614.
- Simon Kemp, 2008. "Lay attitudes to trade with low-wage countries," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 335-343, April.
- Alston, Richard M & Kearl, J R & Vaughan, Michael B, 1992. "Is There a Consensus among Economists in the 1990's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 203-09, May.
- Jacob, Robert & Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2011. "Economic experts or laypeople? How teachers and journalists judge trade and immigration policies," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 662-671.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2009. "How laypeople and experts misperceive the effect of economic growth," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 381-392, June.
- Kemp, Simon, 2007. "Psychology and opposition to free trade," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 25-44, March.
- Haferkamp, Alexandra & Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Belschak, Frank & Enste, Dominik, 2009. "Efficiency versus fairness: The evaluation of labor market policies by economists and laypeople," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 527-539, August.
- Cletus C. Coughlin, 2002. "The controversy over free trade: the gap between economists and the general public," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan., pages 1-22.
- Dominik H. Enste & Alexandra Haferkamp & Detlef Fetchenhauer, 2009. "Unterschiede im Denken zwischen Ökonomen und Laien - Erklärungsansätze zur Verbesserung der wirtschaftspolitischen Beratung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(1), pages 60-78, 02.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:37:y:2013:i:c:p:34-41. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.