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Option Pricing by Students and Professional Traders: A Behavioural Investigation

Author

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  • KLAUS ABBINK

    () (School of Economics, The University of Nottingham)

  • BETTINA ROCKENBACH

    () (Lehrstuhl fuer Mikrooekonomie, Universitaet Erfurt)

Abstract

We compare the behaviour of students and professional traders from an influential German bank in an experiment involving financial options. The arbitrage free option price is independent of the probability distribution of the underlying asset. The experimental data uncover a probability dependent option valuation of the students, however, they learn to exploit more arbitrage as they gain experience. The professional traders exhibit a less probability sensitive valuation, but their overall performance is lower than the students’. We offer the explanation that the professional traders choose a more intuitive and less analytic pattern of behaviour than the students, despite their superior knowledge in financial market theory and practice. At real financial markets, traders are typically not confronted with given and known exact probability distributions, but they must rather rely on their intuitive calibration of the prospects.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Abbink & Bettina Rockenbach, 2005. "Option Pricing by Students and Professional Traders: A Behavioural Investigation," Discussion Papers 2005-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdx:dpaper:2005-12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Forsythe, Robert & Palfrey, Thomas R & Plott, Charles R, 1984. " Futures Markets and Informational Efficiency: A Laboratory Examination," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 955-981, September.
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    6. Dejong, Douglas V. & Forsythe, Robert & Uecker, Wilfred C., 1988. "A note on the use of businessmen as subjects in sealed offer markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 87-100, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Barner & Francesco Feri & Charles R. Plott, 2005. "On the microstructure of price determination and information aggregation with sequential and asymmetric information arrival in an experimental asset market," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 73-107, January.
    2. Crosetto, P. & Gaudeul, A., 2014. "Choosing whether to compete: Price and format competition with consumer confusion," Working Papers 2014-08, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    3. Ganglmair, Bernhard & Holcomb, Alex & Myung, Noah, 2016. "Cutthroats or comrades: Information sharing among competing fund managers," MPRA Paper 71506, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kristiana Hansen & Jonathan Kaplan & Stephan Kroll, 2014. "Valuing Options in Water Markets: A Laboratory Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(1), pages 59-80, January.
    5. Ludwig Ensthaler & Olga Nottmeyer & Georg Weizsäcker & Christian Zankiewicz, 2013. "Hidden Skewness: On the Difficulty of Multiplicative Compounding under Random Shocks," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1337, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Da Costa, Newton & Goulart, Marco & Cupertino, Cesar & Macedo, Jurandir & Da Silva, Sergio, 2013. "The disposition effect and investor experience," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1669-1675.
    7. Blaufus, Kay & Möhlmann, Axel, 2012. "Security returns and tax aversion bias: Behavioral responses to tax labels," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 133, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    8. repec:eee:jeborg:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:85-98 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ludwig Ensthaler & Olga Nottmeyer & Georg Weizsäcker, 2010. "Hidden Skewness," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1043, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Goerg, Sebastian J. & Walkowitz, Gari, 2010. "On the prevalence of framing effects across subject-pools in a two-person cooperation game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 849-859, December.
    11. Martina Nardon & Paolo Pianca, 2014. "European option pricing with constant relative sensitivity probability weighting function," Working Papers 2014:25, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    12. Christian Wolff & Thorsten Lehnert & Cokki Versluis, 2009. "A Cumulative Prospect Theory Approach to Option Pricing," LSF Research Working Paper Series 09-03, Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg.
    13. Fochmann, Martin & Kiesewetter, Dirk & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2012. "Investment behavior and the biased perception of limited loss deduction in income taxation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 230-242.
    14. 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.
    15. Burmeister-Lamp, Katrin & Lévesque, Moren & Schade, Christian, 2012. "Are entrepreneurs influenced by risk attitude, regulatory focus or both? An experiment on entrepreneurs' time allocation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 456-476.
    16. Martina Nardon & Paolo Pianca, 2012. "Prospect theory: An application to European option pricing," Working Papers 2012:34, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiment; Option Pricing; Arbitrage; Bounded Rationality;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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