IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/theord/v74y2013i3p411-429.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do financial professionals behave according to prospect theory? An experimental study

Author

Listed:
  • Mohammed Abdellaoui
  • Han Bleichrodt
  • Hilda Kammoun

Abstract

Prospect theory is increasingly used to explain deviations from the traditional paradigm of rational agents. Empirical support for prospect theory comes mainly from laboratory experiments using student samples. It is obviously important to know whether and to what extent this support generalizes to more naturally occurring circumstances. This article explores this question and measures prospect theory for a sample of private bankers and fund managers. We obtained clear support for prospect theory. Our financial professionals behaved according to prospect theory and violated expected utility maximization. They were risk averse for gains and risk seeking for losses and their utility was concave for gains and (slightly) convex for losses. They were also averse to losses, but less so than commonly observed in laboratory studies and assumed in behavioral finance. A substantial minority focused on gains and largely ignored losses, behavior reminiscent of what caused the current financial crisis. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Hilda Kammoun, 2013. "Do financial professionals behave according to prospect theory? An experimental study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 411-429, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:74:y:2013:i:3:p:411-429
    DOI: 10.1007/s11238-011-9282-3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11238-011-9282-3
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang, 2001. "Mental Accounting, Loss Aversion, and Individual Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1247-1292, August.
    2. Bostic, Raphael & Herrnstein, R. J. & Luce, R. Duncan, 1990. "The effect on the preference-reversal phenomenon of using choice indifferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 193-212, March.
    3. Colin Camerer & Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein & Richard Thaler, 1997. "Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers: One Day at a Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 407-441.
    4. Michael S. Haigh & John A. List, 2005. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 523-534, February.
    5. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    6. Uri Gneezy & Jan Potters, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-645.
    7. Kobberling, Veronika & Wakker, Peter P., 2005. "An index of loss aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 119-131, May.
    8. Henry Stott, 2006. "Cumulative prospect theory's functional menagerie," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 101-130, March.
    9. Abdellaoui, Mohammed & Barrios, Carolina & Wakker, Peter P., 2007. "Reconciling introspective utility with revealed preference: Experimental arguments based on prospect theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 356-378, May.
    10. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    11. Richard H. Thaler & Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman & Alan Schwartz, 1997. "The Effect of Myopia and Loss Aversion on Risk Taking: An Experimental Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 647-661.
    12. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang, 2001. "Mental Accounting, Loss Aversion, and Individual Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 8190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
    14. 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.
    15. Nicholas Bardsley & Robin Cubitt & Graham Loomes & Peter Moffatt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9074.
    16. Uri Gneezy & Arie Kapteyn & Jan Potters, 2003. "Evaluation Periods and Asset Prices in a Market Experiment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 821-838, April.
    17. 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.
    18. Myagkov, Mikhail & Plott, Charles R, 1997. "Exchange Economies and Loss Exposure: Experiments Exploring Prospect Theory and Competitive Equilibria in Market Environments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 801-828, December.
    19. Kliger, Doron & Levy, Ori, 2009. "Theories of choice under risk: Insights from financial markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 330-346, August.
    20. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71.
    21. Joshua D. Coval & Tyler Shumway, 2005. "Do Behavioral Biases Affect Prices?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 1-34, February.
    22. 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.
    23. Han Bleichrodt & Jose Luis Pinto, 2000. "A Parameter-Free Elicitation of the Probability Weighting Function in Medical Decision Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1485-1496, November.
    24. Booij, Adam S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A parameter-free analysis of the utility of money for the general population under prospect theory," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 651-666, August.
    25. Gurevich, Gregory & Kliger, Doron & Levy, Ori, 2009. "Decision-making under uncertainty - A field study of cumulative prospect theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1221-1229, July.
    26. Gijs Kuilen & Peter Wakker, 2006. "Learning in the Allais paradox," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 155-164, December.
    27. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jakusch, Sven Thorsten, 2017. "On the applicability of maximum likelihood methods: From experimental to financial data," SAFE Working Paper Series 148, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    2. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Corina Paraschiv, 2007. "Loss Aversion Under Prospect Theory: A Parameter-Free Measurement," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(10), pages 1659-1674, October.
    3. Simon Gaechter & Eric Johnson & Andreas Herrmann, 2007. "Individual-Level Loss Aversion In Riskless And Risky Choices," Discussion Papers 2007-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    4. Adam Booij & Bernard Praag & Gijs Kuilen, 2010. "A parametric analysis of prospect theory’s functionals for the general population," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 115-148, February.
    5. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L’Haridon, 2008. "A tractable method to measure utility and loss aversion under prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 245-266, June.
    6. Jakusch, Sven Thorsten & Meyer, Steffen & Hackethal, Andreas, 2019. "Taming models of prospect theory in the wild? Estimation of Vlcek and Hens (2011)," SAFE Working Paper Series 146, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    7. Horst Zank, 2010. "On probabilities and loss aversion," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 243-261, March.
    8. Booij, Adam S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A parameter-free analysis of the utility of money for the general population under prospect theory," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 651-666, August.
    9. Veld, Chris & Veld-Merkoulova, Yulia V., 2008. "The risk perceptions of individual investors," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 226-252, April.
    10. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L’Haridon & Dennie Dolder, 2016. "Measuring Loss Aversion under Ambiguity: A Method to Make Prospect Theory Completely Observable," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 1-20, February.
    11. Pavlo Blavatskyy & Ganna Pogrebna, 2010. "Reevaluating evidence on myopic loss aversion: aggregate patterns versus individual choices," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 159-171, February.
    12. Neszveda, G., 2019. "Essays on behavioral finance," Other publications TiSEM 05059039-5236-42a3-be1b-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    13. Blavatskyy, Pavlo & Pogrebna, Ganna, 2009. "Myopic loss aversion revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 43-45, July.
    14. Peter Brooks & Horst Zank, 2005. "Loss Averse Behavior," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 301-325, December.
    15. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    16. W. Wong & R. Chan, 2008. "Prospect and Markowitz stochastic dominance," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 105-129, January.
    17. Lucks, Konstantin, 2016. "The Impact of Self-Control on Investment Decisions," MPRA Paper 73099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Daniel Gottlieb & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2020. "Narrow Framing and Long‐Term Care Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 87(4), pages 861-893, December.
    19. Yao Kpegli & Brice Corgnet & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2020. "All at Once! A Comprehensive and Tractable Semi-Parametric Method to Elicit Prospect Theory Components," Working Papers halshs-03016517, HAL.
    20. Alex Markle & George Wu & Rebecca White & Aaron Sackett, 2018. "Goals as reference points in marathon running: A novel test of reference dependence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 19-50, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prospect theory; Loss aversion; Field data; Behavioral finance; Experimental economics; D81; G11;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:74:y:2013:i:3:p:411-429. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.