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Italian Asset Managers’ Behavior: Evidence on Overconfidence, Risk Taking and Gender


  • Beckmann, Daniela
  • Lütje, Torben
  • Rebeggiani, Luca


This paper offers new insights into the Italian mutual fund industry. Surveying Italian professionals, we do not only reveal typical gender differences but also detect divergence to their German counterparts. While disclosing Italian professionals’ overly positive self-assessment in general, we find evidence for male overconfidence in particular though without being accompanied by excessive control illusion of the own information level. Asset managers’ risk taking reveals further differences: Italian female professionals do not only assess themselves as more risk averse than their male colleagues, they also prefer a more passive portfolio management compared to the level they are allowed to. Moreover, in a tournament scenario near the end of the investment period female asset managers do not try to become the ultimate top performer when they have outperformed their peer group so far. However, in case of underperformance, the risk of deviating from the benchmark makes especially female professionals willing to seize a chance of catching up. Overall, compared to their German counterparts, we find Italian asset managers to be slightly more risk averse. Matching bounded former results on Italian mutual funds, we discuss interdependencies as well as impact of our findings at the individual asset managers’ level on trading activity, management style and performance.

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  • Beckmann, Daniela & Lütje, Torben & Rebeggiani, Luca, 2007. "Italian Asset Managers’ Behavior: Evidence on Overconfidence, Risk Taking and Gender," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-358, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-358

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luigi Guiso & Michael Haliassos & Tullio Jappelli, 2003. "Household stockholding in Europe: where do we stand and where do we go?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(36), pages 123-170, April.
    2. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2005. "Male and Female Competitive Behavior - Experimental Evidence," Post-Print halshs-00180022, HAL.
    3. Roberto Savona, 2006. "Do mutual funds styles reflect a country-specific investment philosophy? The Italian case," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 303-318.
    4. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
    5. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
    6. Timothy Smeeding & Eva Sierminska & Andrea Brandolini, 2006. "Comparing Wealth Distribution across Rich Countries: First Results from the Luxembourg Wealth Study," LWS Working papers 1, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    7. David Hirshleifer, 2001. "Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1533-1597, August.
    8. Cesari, Riccardo & Panetta, Fabio, 2002. "The performance of Italian equity funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 99-126, January.
    9. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
    10. Eva Sierminska & Andrea Brandolini & Timothy M Smeeding, 2007. "Comparing wealth distribution across rich countries: the Luxembourg Wealth Study project," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Measuring the financial position of the household sector", Basel, 30-31 August 2006 - Volume 1, volume 25, pages 297-310 Bank for International Settlements.
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    More about this item


    Institutional investors; Gender; Overconfidence; Risk taking; Tournament behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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