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Behavioral Biases and Investment

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  • Massimo Massa
  • Andrei Simonov

Abstract

We investigate the way investors react to prior gains/losses. We directly examine investor reactions to different definitions of gains and losses (i.e., overall wealth, paper gains and losses, and realized capital gains and losses) and investigate how gains and losses in one category of wealth (e.g., real estate) affect holdings in other categories (e.g., financial assets). We show that investors change their holdings of risky assets as a function of both financial and real estate gains. Prior gains increase risk-taking, while prior losses reduce it. To interpret our results, we consider and compare three alternative hypotheses of investor behavior: prospect theory, house money effect and standard utility theory with decreasing risk aversion. Our evidence fails to support loss aversion, pointing in the direction of the house money effect or standard utility theory. Investors consider wealth in its entirety, and risk-taking in financial markets is affected by gains/losses in overall wealth, financial wealth, and real estate wealth. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Massa & Andrei Simonov, 2005. "Behavioral Biases and Investment," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 483-507, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:eurfin:v:9:y:2005:i:4:p:483-507 DOI: 10.1007/s10679-005-4998-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Calvet, Laurent & Gonzalez-Eiras, Martín & Sodini, Paolo, 2004. "Financial Innovation, Market Participation, and Asset Prices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 431-459, September.
    2. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000:19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mattos, Fabio & Garcia, Philip & Pennings, Joost M.E., 2008. "Dynamic Decision Making in Agricultural Futures and Options Markets," 2008 Conference, April 21-22, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri 37605, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
    2. Frieder, Laura, 2008. "Investor and price response to patterns in earnings surprises," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 259-283, August.
    3. Kumar, Alok, 2007. "Do the diversification choices of individual investors influence stock returns?," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 362-390, November.
    4. Duxbury, Darren & Hudson, Robert & Keasey, Kevin & Yang, Zhishu & Yao, Songyao, 2015. "Do the disposition and house money effects coexist? A reconciliation of two behavioral biases using individual investor-level data," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 55-68.
    5. Mattos, Fabio & Garcia, Philip, 2009. "The Effect of Prior Gains and Losses on Current Risk-Taking Using Quantile Regression," 2009 Conference, April 20-21, 2009, St. Louis, Missouri 53035, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
    6. Mattos, Fabio & Garcia, Philip & Pennings, Joost M.E., 2008. "Probability weighting and loss aversion in futures hedging," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 433-452, November.
    7. Mizrach, Bruce & Weerts, Susan, 2009. "Experts online: An analysis of trading activity in a public Internet chat room," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 266-281.
    8. Abreu, Margarida & Mendes, Victor & Santos, João A.C., 2011. "Home country bias: Does domestic experience help investors enter foreign markets?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2330-2340, September.

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