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Optimal portfolio choice under loss aversion

Author

Listed:
  • Berkelaar, A.B.
  • Kouwenberg, R.R.P.

Abstract

Prospect theory and loss aversion play a dominant role in behavioral finance. In this paper we derive closed-form solutions for optimal portfolio choice under loss aversion. When confronted with gains a loss averse investor behaves similar to a portfolio insurer. When confronted with losses, the investor aims at maximizing the probability that terminal wealth exceeds his aspiration level. Our analysis indicates that a representative agent model with loss aversion cannot resolve the equity premium puzzle. We also extend the martingale methodology to allow for more general utility functions and provide a simple approach to incorporate skewed and fat-tailed return distributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Berkelaar, A.B. & Kouwenberg, R.R.P., 2000. "Optimal portfolio choice under loss aversion," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2000-08/A, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureir:1641
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