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Sensation Seeking, Overconfidence, and Trading Activity

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  • Mark Grinblatt
  • Matti Keloharju

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2006. "Sensation Seeking, Overconfidence, and Trading Activity," NBER Working Papers 12223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gervais, Simon & Odean, Terrance, 2001. "Learning to be Overconfident," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
    2. Laurence Weiss, 1979. "Information Aggregation and Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 528, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. 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.
    4. Milgrom, Paul & Stokey, Nancy, 1982. "Information, trade and common knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 17-27, February.
    5. Mark Grinblatt, 2001. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 589-616, April.
    6. 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, April.
    7. 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.
    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. Richard Deaves & Erik Lüders & Guo Ying Luo, 2009. "An Experimental Test of the Impact of Overconfidence and Gender on Trading Activity," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 13(3), pages 555-575.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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