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Sensation Seeking, Overconfidence, and Trading Activity

  • Mark Grinblatt
  • Matti Keloharju

This study analyzes the role that two psychological attributes%u2014sensation seeking and overconfidence%u2014play in the tendency of investors to trade stocks. Equity trading data are combined with data from an investor%u2019s tax filings, driving record, and psychological profile. We use the data to construct measures of overconfidence and sensation seeking tendencies. Controlling for a host of variables, including wealth, income, age, number of stocks owned, marital status, and occupation, we find that overconfident investors and those investors most prone to sensation seeking trade more frequently.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12223.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12223.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Publication status: published as Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2009. "Sensation Seeking, Overconfidence, and Trading Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 549-578, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12223
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  1. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2000. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm146, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  2. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
  3. Paul Milgrom & Nancy L.Stokey, 1979. "Information, Trade, and Common Knowledge," Discussion Papers 377R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Richard Deaves & Erik Lüders & Guo Ying Luo, 2005. "An Experimental Test of the Impact of Overconfidence and Gender on Trading Activity," CoFE Discussion Paper 05-07, Center of Finance and Econometrics, University of Konstanz.
  5. John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey & Hai Huang, 2009. "Investor Competence, Trading Frequency, and Home Bias," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1094-1106, July.
  6. Gervais, Simon & Odean, Terrance, 2001. "Learning to be Overconfident," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
  7. Julie Agnew & Pierluigi Balduzzi & Annika Sundén, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 193-215, March.
  8. Grinblatt, Mark & Han, Bing, 2005. "Prospect theory, mental accounting, and momentum," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 311-339, November.
  9. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2002. "Online Investors: Do the Slow Die First?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 455-488, March.
  10. Grinblatt, Mark & Keloharju, Matti, 2000. "The investment behavior and performance of various investor types: a study of Finland's unique data set," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 43-67, January.
  11. Laurence Weiss, 1979. "Information Aggregation and Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 528, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2000. "Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 773-806, 04.
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