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From boom til bust: how loss aversion affects asset prices

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

Abstract

In 1996 Alan Greenspan warned that stock prices were "unduly escalated" and reflected "irrational exuberance". In this paper we describe an economy that can support a prolonged surge of asset prices, accompanied by a sharp increase of volatility. We study an equilibrium model where some agents are risk averse while others have loss averse preferences over wealth, according to prospect theory. We derive closed-form solutions for the equilibrium prices. In good states of the world, the loss averse investors with wealth above the threshold are momentum traders, thereby pushing prices far above the level in the benchmark economy. In moderately bad states of the world, the loss averse investors are contrarian, and equilibrium prices are kept relatively high and stable. Finally in extremely bad states, the loss averse investors are forced to retreat from the stock market in order to avoid bankruptcy, resulting in a sharp price drop.

Suggested Citation

  • Berkelaar, A.B. & Kouwenberg, R.R.P., 2000. "From boom til bust: how loss aversion affects asset prices," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2000-21/A, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureir:1654
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Shuangzhe & Ma, Tiefeng & Polasek, Wolfgang, 2014. "Spatial system estimators for panel models: A sensitivity and simulation study," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 78-102.
    2. Stephen Satchell & Wei Xia, 2005. "Estimation of the Risk Attitude of the Representative UK Pension Fund Investor," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0509, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    3. Fortin, Ines & Hlouskova, Jaroslava, 2011. "Optimal asset allocation under linear loss aversion," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 2974-2990, November.
    4. Zinman, Jonathan, 2010. "Restricting consumer credit access: Household survey evidence on effects around the Oregon rate cap," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 546-556, March.
    5. Yao, Jing & Li, Duan, 2013. "Prospect theory and trading patterns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2793-2805.
    6. Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2005. "What is Loss Aversion?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 157-167, January.
    7. López-Espinosa, Germán & Moreno, Antonio & Rubia, Antonio & Valderrama, Laura, 2015. "Systemic risk and asymmetric responses in the financial industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 471-485.
    8. Erick Rengifo & Emanuela Trifan, 2008. "How Investors Face Financial Risk Loss Aversion and Wealth Allocation," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2008-01, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    9. Mattos, Fabio & Garcia, Philip & Pennings, Joost M.E., 2008. "Probability weighting and loss aversion in futures hedging," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 433-452, November.
    10. Nieto, Belén & Rubio, Gonzalo, 2011. "The volatility of consumption-based stochastic discount factors and economic cycles," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2197-2216, September.
    11. Easley, David & Yang, Liyan, 2015. "Loss aversion, survival and asset prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 494-516.
    12. Hwang, Soosung & Satchell, Steve E., 2010. "How loss averse are investors in financial markets?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2425-2438, October.
    13. Ines Fortin & Jaroslava Hlouskova, 2015. "Downside loss aversion: Winner or loser?," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR);Nederlands Genootschap voor Besliskunde (NGB), vol. 81(2), pages 181-233, April.
    14. Dichtl, Hubert & Drobetz, Wolfgang, 2011. "Portfolio insurance and prospect theory investors: Popularity and optimal design of capital protected financial products," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1683-1697, July.
    15. Jakusch, Sven Thorsten, 2016. "On the applicability of maximum likelihood methods: From experimental to financial data," SAFE Working Paper Series 148, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    16. Fortin, Ines & Hlouskova, Jaroslava, 2012. "Optimal Asset Allocation under Quadratic Loss Aversion," Economics Series 291, Institute for Advanced Studies.

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