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Beyond the Disposition Effect: Do Investors Really Like Gains More Than Losses?

  • Ben-David, Itzhak

    (OH State University)

  • Hirshleifer, David

    (University of CA, Irvine)

The disposition effect (greater realization of winners than losers) is often taken as proof that investors have an inherent preference for realizing winners over losers. In contrast, we find that the disposition effect is not primarily driven by realization preference. The probability of selling as a function of profit is V-shaped, so that at short holding periods investors are much more likely to sell big losers than small ones. There is little indication of a jump discontinuity in selling probability at zero profits, as implied by an investor concern for the sign of realized returns. In a placebo test, there is a reverse disposition effect for the probability of buying additional shares. The speculative motive for trade potentially helps explain these findings.

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File URL: http://fisher.osu.edu/supplements/10/10471/2011-13.pdf
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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011-13.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2011-13
Contact details of provider: Phone: (614) 292-8449
Web page: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/list.htm
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