IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Making Prospect Theory Fit for Finance




This paper gives a survey over a common aspect of prospect theory that occurred to be of importance in a series of recent papers developed by Enrico De Giorgi, Thorsten Hens, Janos Mayer, Haim Levy, Thierry Post, Marc Oliver Rieger and Mei Wang. The common aspect of these papers is that the value function of the prospect theory of Kahneman and Tversky (1979) and similarly that of Tversky and Kahneman (1992) has to be re-modelled if one wants to apply it to portfolio selection. Instead of the piecewise power value function, a piecewise negative exponential function should be used. This functional form is still compatible with laboratory experiments but it has the following advantages over and above Kahneman and Tversky`s piecewise power function: 1. The Bernoulli Paradox does not arise for lotteries with finite expected value. 2. No infinite leverage/robustness problem arises. 3. CAPM-equilibria with heterogeneous investors and prospect utility do exist. 4. It is able to simultaneously resolve the following asset pricing puzzles: the equity premium, the value and the size puzzle.

Suggested Citation

  • De Giorgi, Enrico & Hens, Thorsten, 2005. "Making Prospect Theory Fit for Finance," Discussion Papers 2005/19, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2005_019

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-465, June.
    2. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    3. De Giorgi, Enrico, 2005. "Reward-risk portfolio selection and stochastic dominance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 895-926, April.
    4. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2004. "Back to the St. Petersburg Paradox?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp227, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    5. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    6. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    7. Arjan B. Berkelaar & Roy Kouwenberg & Thierry Post, 2004. "Optimal Portfolio Choice under Loss Aversion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 973-987, November.
    8. Richard H. Thaler & Eric J. Johnson, 1990. "Gambling with the House Money and Trying to Break Even: The Effects of Prior Outcomes on Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 643-660, June.
    9. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
    10. Kyle, Albert S. & Ou-Yang, Hui & Xiong, Wei, 2006. "Prospect theory and liquidation decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 273-288, July.
    11. Banz, Rolf W., 1981. "The relationship between return and market value of common stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-18, March.
    12. Weber, Martin & Camerer, Colin F., 1998. "The disposition effect in securities trading: an experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 167-184, January.
    13. Nicholas Barberis & Wei Xiong, 2009. "What Drives the Disposition Effect? An Analysis of a Long-Standing Preference-Based Explanation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 751-784, April.
    14. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-1445, November.
    15. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    16. Paul A. Samuelson, 2011. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE KELLY CAPITAL GROWTH INVESTMENT CRITERION THEORY and PRACTICE, chapter 31, pages 465-472 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    17. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    18. Rajnish Mehra, 2006. "The Equity Premium in India," NBER Working Papers 12434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Basu, S, 1977. "Investment Performance of Common Stocks in Relation to Their Price-Earnings Ratios: A Test of the Efficient Market Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 663-682, June.
    20. Hens, Thorsten & Vlcek, Martin, 2005. "Does Prospect Theory Explain the Disposition Effect?," Discussion Papers 2005/18, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    21. Shefrin, Hersh & Statman, Meir, 1985. " The Disposition to Sell Winners Too Early and Ride Losers Too Long: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 777-790, July.
    22. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory and Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53.
    23. Enrico Giorgi & Thorsten Hens & János Mayer, 2007. "Computational aspects of prospect theory with asset pricing applications," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 267-281, May.
    24. De Giorgi, Enrico & Hens, Thorsten & Post, Thierry, 2005. "Prospect Theory and the Size and Value Premium Puzzles," Discussion Papers 2005/20, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    25. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2006. "Reflections on gains and losses: A 2 × 2 × 7 experiment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 217-235, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Prospect theory; portfolio selection;

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2005_019. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stein Fossen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.