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Making prospect theory fit for finance

  • Enrico Giorgi


  • Thorsten Hens


This paper gives a survey over a common aspect of prospect theory that occurred to be of importance in a series of recent papers developed by Enrico De Giorgi, Thorsten Hens, Janos Mayer, Haim Levy, Thierry Post, Marc Oliver Rieger and Mei Wang. The common aspect of these papers is that the value function of the prospect theory of Kahneman and Tversky (1979) and similarly that of Tversky and Kahneman (1992) has to be re-modelled if one wants to apply it to portfolio selection. Instead of the piecewise power value function, a piecewise negative exponential function should be used. This functional form is still compatible with laboratory experiments but it has the following advantages over and above Kahneman and Tversky`s piecewise power function: 1. The Bernoulli Paradox does not arise for lotteries with finite expected value. 2. No infinite leverage/robustness problem arises. 3. CAPM-equilibria with heterogeneous investors and prospect utility do exist. 4. It is able to simultaneously resolve the following asset pricing puzzles: the equity premium, the value and the size puzzle.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Financial Markets and Portfolio Management.

Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 339-360

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Handle: RePEc:kap:fmktpm:v:20:y:2006:i:3:p:339-360
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  1. Enrico De Giorgi, . "Reward-Risk Portfolio Selection and Stochastic Dominance," IEW - Working Papers 121, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  3. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  4. Shefrin, Hersh & Statman, Meir, 1985. " The Disposition to Sell Winners Too Early and Ride Losers Too Long: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 777-90, July.
  5. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  6. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  7. Basu, S, 1977. "Investment Performance of Common Stocks in Relation to Their Price-Earnings Ratios: A Test of the Efficient Market Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 663-82, June.
  8. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  9. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  10. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2004. "Back to the St. Petersburg Paradox?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp227, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  11. 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.
  12. Nicholas Barberis & Wei Xiong, 2006. "What Drives the Disposition Effect? An Analysis of a Long-Standing Preference-Based Explanation," NBER Working Papers 12397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Richard H. Thaler & Eric J. Johnson, 1990. "Gambling with the House Money and Trying to Break Even: The Effects of Prior Outcomes on Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 643-660, June.
  14. Kyle, Albert S. & Ou-Yang, Hui & Xiong, Wei, 2006. "Prospect theory and liquidation decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 273-288, July.
  15. De Giorgi, Enrico & Hens, Thorsten & Post, Thierry, 2005. "Prospect Theory and the Size and Value Premium Puzzles," Discussion Papers 2005/20, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
  16. Hens, Thorsten & Vlcek, Martin, 2005. "Does Prospect Theory Explain the Disposition Effect?," Discussion Papers 2005/18, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Rajnish Mehra, 2006. "The Equity Premium in India," NBER Working Papers 12434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Banz, Rolf W., 1981. "The relationship between return and market value of common stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-18, March.
  20. Arjan B. Berkelaar & Roy Kouwenberg & Thierry Post, 2004. "Optimal Portfolio Choice under Loss Aversion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 973-987, November.
  21. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2006. "Reflections on gains and losses: A 2 × 2 × 7 experiment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 217-235, December.
  22. Enrico Giorgi & Thorsten Hens & János Mayer, 2007. "Computational aspects of prospect theory with asset pricing applications," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 267-281, May.
  23. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  24. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  25. Weber, Martin & Camerer, Colin F., 1998. "The disposition effect in securities trading: an experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 167-184, January.
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