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Do Option-like Incentives Induce Overvaluation? Evidence from Experimental Asset Markets


  • Holmén, Martin

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Kirchler, Michael

    () (University of Innsbruck and University of Gothenburg)

  • Kleinlercher, Daniel

    () (University of Innsbruck)


One potential reason for bubbles evolving prior to the financial crisis was excessive risk taking stemming from option-like incentive schemes in financial institutions. By running laboratory asset markets, we investigate the impact of option-like incentives on price formation and trading behavior. We observe (i) that option-like incentives induce significantly higher market prices than linear incentives. We further find that (ii) option-like incentives provoke subjects to behave differently and to take more risk than subjects with linear incentives. We finally show that (iii) trading at inflated prices is rational for subjects with option-like incentives since it increases their expected payout.

Suggested Citation

  • Holmén, Martin & Kirchler, Michael & Kleinlercher, Daniel, 2012. "Do Option-like Incentives Induce Overvaluation? Evidence from Experimental Asset Markets," Working Papers in Economics 540, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 21 Nov 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0540

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    Cited by:

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    2. Fang, Dawei & Holmén, Martin & Kleinlercher, Daniel & Kirchler, Michael, 2017. "How tournament incentives affect asset markets: A comparison between winner-take-all tournaments and elimination contests," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-27.
    3. Michael Kirchler & Florian Lindner & Utz Weitzel, 2016. "Rankings and Risk-Taking in the Finance Industry," Working Papers 2016-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Jul 2017.
    4. repec:spr:decfin:v:40:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10203-017-0200-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Baghestanian, Sascha & Gortner, Paul & Massenot, Baptiste, 2015. "Compensation schemes, liquidity provision, and asset prices: An experimental analysis," SAFE Working Paper Series 108, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    6. Kleinlercher, Daniel & Huber, Jürgen & Kirchler, Michael, 2014. "The impact of different incentive schemes on asset prices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 137-150.
    7. Annalisa Fabretti & Tommy Gärling & Stefano Herzel & Martin Holmen, 2017. "Convex incentives in financial markets: an agent-based analysis," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 40(1), pages 375-395, November.
    8. Breaban, A.G., 2014. "Behavior and asset markets : Individual decisions, emotions and fundamental value trajectories," Other publications TiSEM a20e6a40-f15e-4331-83cb-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Kirchler, Michael & Bonn, Caroline & Huber, Jürgen & Razen, Michael, 2015. "The “inflow-effect”—Trader inflow and price efficiency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-19.
    10. repec:eee:finmar:v:35:y:2017:i:c:p:104-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Stefan Palan & Thomas Stöckl, 2014. "When chasing the offender hurts the victim: Collateral damage from insider legislation," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2014-03, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    12. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9530-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    mispricing; incentives; market efficiency; experimental finance;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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