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Herding in Financial Behaviour: A Behavioural and Neuroeconomic Analysis of Individual Differences

Author

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  • Baddeley, M.
  • Burke, C.
  • Schultz, W.
  • Tobler, P.

Abstract

Experimental analyses have identified significant tendencies for individuals to follow herd decisions, a finding which has been explained using Bayesian principles. This paper outlines the results from a herding task designed to extend these analyses using evidence from a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. Empirically, we estimate logistic functions using panel estimation techniques to quantify the impact of herd decisions on individuals' financial decisions. We confirm that there are statistically significant propensities to herd and that social information about others' decisions has an impact on individuals' decisions. We extend these findings by identifying associations between herding propensities and individual characteristics including gender, age and various personality traits. In addition fMRI evidence shows that individual differences correlate strongly with activations in the amygdala – an area of the brain commonly associated with social decision-making. Individual differences also correlate strongly with amygdala activations during herding decisions. These findings are used to construct a two stage least squares model of financial herding which confirms that individual differences and neural responses play a role in modulating the propensity to herd.

Suggested Citation

  • Baddeley, M. & Burke, C. & Schultz, W. & Tobler, P., 2012. "Herding in Financial Behaviour: A Behavioural and Neuroeconomic Analysis of Individual Differences," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1225, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Moshe Maor, 2016. "Emotion-driven negative policy bubbles," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 49(2), pages 191-210, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    herding; social influence; individual differences; neuroeconomics; fMRI; amygdala;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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