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Survival of the Fittest on Wall Street


  • Thorsten Hens

    (University of Zurich)

  • Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)


This paper studies an application of a Darwinian theory of portfolio selection to stocks listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). We analyze numerically the long-run outcome of the competition of fix-mix portfolio rules in a stock market with actual DJIA dividends. In the model seemingly rational strategies can do very poorly against seemingly irrational strategies. Moreover, the interaction of strategies can lead to stochastic time series of asset prices that do not converge. The simulations also show that the evolutionary portfolio rule discovered in Hens and Schenk-Hopp´e (2004) will eventually hold total market wealth in competition with fix-mix portfolio rules derived from mean-variance optimization, maximum growth theory and behavioral finance. According to this evolutionary rule, portfolio weights should be proportional to the expected relative dividends of the assets. As an implication asset prices converge to expected relative dividends.

Suggested Citation

  • Thorsten Hens & Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé, 2004. "Survival of the Fittest on Wall Street," Discussion Papers 04-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0403

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
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    More about this item


    Evolutionary Finance; Behavioral Finance; CAPM; Fix-Mix Portfolio Rules; Growth Optimal Portfolio;

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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