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Realization Utility

  • Nicholas C. Barberis
  • Wei Xiong

A number of authors have suggested that investors derive utility from realizing gains and losses on assets that they own. We present a model of this "realization utility," analyze its predictions, and show that it can shed light on a number of puzzling facts. These include the disposition effect, the poor trading performance of individual investors, the higher volume of trade in rising markets, the effect of historical highs on the propensity to sell, the individual investor preference for volatile stocks, the low average return of volatile stocks, and the heavy trading associated with highly valued assets.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14440.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14440.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Publication status: published as Barberis, Nicholas & Xiong, Wei, 2012. "Realization utility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 251-271.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14440
Note: AP
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 8143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andrew Ang & Robert J. Hodrick & Yuhang Xing & Xiaoyan Zhang, 2006. "The Cross-Section of Volatility and Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 259-299, 02.
  3. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1993. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Harrison Hong & Jeremy C. Stein, 2007. "Disagreement and the Stock Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 109-128, Spring.
  5. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2007. "Investor Sentiment in the Stock Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 129-152, Spring.
  6. Mark Grinblatt & Bing Han, 2001. "Prospect Theory, Mental Accounting, and Momentum," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2533, Yale School of Management, revised 01 May 2007.
  7. 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, 04.
  8. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2006. "Sensation Seeking, Overconfidence, and Trading Activity," NBER Working Papers 12223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang, 2001. "Mental Accounting, Loss Aversion, and Individual Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 8190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory And Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53, February.
  11. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  12. Malcolm Baker & Xin Pan & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2009. "A Reference Point Theory of Mergers and Acquisitions," NBER Working Papers 15551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Downpayment Effects," NBER Working Papers 4373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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 777-90, July.
  16. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2000. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm146, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Nov 2001.
  17. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
  18. Nicholas Barberis, 2001. "Mental Accounting, Loss Aversion, and Individual Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1247-1292, 08.
  19. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
  20. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  21. Alok Kumar, 2009. "Who Gambles in the Stock Market?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1889-1933, 08.
  22. Andrea Frazzini, 2006. "The Disposition Effect and Underreaction to News," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 2017-2046, 08.
  23. Chip Heath & Steven Huddart & Mark Lang, 1999. "Psychological Factors And Stock Option Exercise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 601-627, May.
  24. Kaustia, Markku, 2010. "Prospect Theory and the Disposition Effect," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(03), pages 791-812, June.
  25. Meir Statman & Steven Thorley & Keith Vorkink, 2006. "Investor Overconfidence and Trading Volume," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 1531-1565.
  26. 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.
  27. Ravi Dhar & Ning Zhu, 2006. "Up Close and Personal: Investor Sophistication and the Disposition Effect," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(5), pages 726-740, May.
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