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Measuring the Behavioral Component of Financial Fluctuations: An Analysis Based on the S&P 500

Author

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  • Massimiliano Caporin

    () (University of Padova)

  • Luca Corazzini

    () (University of Padova)

  • Michele Costola

    () (University Ca’ Foscari of Venice)

Abstract

We study the evolution of the behavioral component of the financial market by estimating a Bayesian mixture model in which two types of investors coexist: one rational, with standard subjective expected utility theory (SEUT) preferences, and one behavioral, endowed with an S-shaped utility function. We perform our analysis by using monthly data on the constituents of the S&P 500 index from January 1962 to April 2012. We assume that agents take investment decisions by ranking the alternative assets according to their performance measures. A tuning parameter blending the rational and the behavioral choices can be estimated by using a criterion function. The estimated parameter can be interpreted as an endogenous market sentiment index. This is confirmed by a number of checks controlling for the correlation of our endogenous index with measures of (implied) financial volatility, market sentiments and financial stress. Our results confirm the existence of a significant behavioral component that reaches its peaks during periods of recession. Moreover, after controlling for a number of covariates, we observe a significant correlation between the estimated behavioral component and the S&P 500 return index.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimiliano Caporin & Luca Corazzini & Michele Costola, 2014. "Measuring the Behavioral Component of Financial Fluctuations: An Analysis Based on the S&P 500," CREATES Research Papers 2014-33, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:create:2014-33
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michele Costola & Massimiliano Caporin, 2016. "Rational Learning For Risk-Averse Investors By Conditioning On Behavioral Choices," Annals of Financial Economics (AFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 11(01), pages 1-26, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investment decision; behavioral agents; mixture model; behavioral expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation
    • C58 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Financial Econometrics

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