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Does Investor Risk Perception Drive Asset Prices in Markets? Experimental Evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Jürgen Huber

    ()

    (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Innsbruck)

  • Stefan Palan

    ()

    (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Graz)

  • Stefan Zeisberger

    ()

    (Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen)

What people perceive as risk clearly goes beyond variance. Several papers have shown that, e.g., probability of loss plays a more prominent role in perceived risk than does variance. We are the first to explore how individual risk perception influences prices and trading behavior in a market setting by exposing subjects to a number of differently shaped return distributions which they then trade on. We first elicit subjects' individual risk perceptions, finding results in line with earlier papers. We then let subjects trade assets with these return distributions on a continuous double auction market. In the markets we observe active trading and prices strongly driven by average risk perception. While standard finance theory predicts identical prices for most of our assets we find average prices to vary by up to 20 percent, with assets perceived as being less risky trading at significantly higher prices.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz in its series Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences with number 2017-05.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 24 Jul 2017
Handle: RePEc:grz:wpsses:2017-05
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  1. Unser, Matthias, 2000. "Lower partial moments as measures of perceived risk: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 253-280, June.
  2. Sachse, Katharina & Jungermann, Helmut & Belting, Julia M., 2012. "Investment risk – The perspective of individual investors," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 437-447.
  3. Charles N. Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2016. "Cash Inflows And Bubbles In Asset Markets With Constant Fundamental Values," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1596-1606, July.
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  5. Veld, Chris & Veld-Merkoulova, Yulia V., 2008. "The risk perceptions of individual investors," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 226-252, April.
  6. Alen Nosić & Martin Weber, 2010. "How Riskily Do I Invest? The Role of Risk Attitudes, Risk Perceptions, and Overconfidence," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 7(3), pages 282-301, September.
  7. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob, 2011. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 449-472, August.
  8. Alexander Klos & Elke U. Weber & Martin Weber, 2005. "Investment Decisions and Time Horizon: Risk Perception and Risk Behavior in Repeated Gambles," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(12), pages 1777-1790, December.
  9. Bock, Olaf & Baetge, Ingmar & Nicklisch, Andreas, 2014. "hroot: Hamburg Registration and Organization Online Tool," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 117-120.
  10. Elke U. Weber & Richard A. Milliman, 1997. "Perceived Risk Attitudes: Relating Risk Perception to Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(2), pages 123-144, February.
  11. Martin Weber & Elke U. Weber & Alen Nosić, 2013. "Who takes Risks When and Why: Determinants of Changes in Investor Risk Taking," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(3), pages 847-883.
  12. Michael Kirchler & Jurgen Huber & Thomas Stockl, 2012. "Thar She Bursts: Reducing Confusion Reduces Bubbles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 865-883, April.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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