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Disposition Effect and Loss Aversion: An Analysis Based on a Simulated Experimental Stock Market


  • Kohsaka Youki

    () (Center for Finance Research, Waseda University)

  • Grzegorz Mardyla

    () (Faculty of Economics, Kinki University)

  • Shinji Takenaka

    () (Japan Center for Economic Research)

  • Yoshiro Tsutsui

    () (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)


We experimentally investigate the existence of the disposition effect and loss aversion as its potential cause. Our approach includes three key characteristics: (i) An environment closely mimicking actual stock markets; (ii) Individual-specific reference prices; (iii) A direct test of loss aversion as a cause of the disposition effect. We find strong support for the existence of the disposition effect as an independent hypothesis. This is an improvement over previous studies, which tested this hypothesis only jointly with others. Our results also strongly point to loss aversion, of the type postulated by prospect theory, being a source of the disposition effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohsaka Youki & Grzegorz Mardyla & Shinji Takenaka & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2013. "Disposition Effect and Loss Aversion: An Analysis Based on a Simulated Experimental Stock Market," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-02-Rev, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Apr 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1302r

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lakonishok, Josef & Smidt, Seymour, 1986. " Volume for Winners and Losers: Taxation and Other Motives for Stock Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(4), pages 951-974, September.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Erich Kirchler & Boris Maciejovsky & Martin Weber, 2010. "Framing Effects, Selective Information and Market Behavior: An Experimental Analysis," Chapters,in: Handbook of Behavioral Finance, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Constantinides, George M., 1984. "Optimal stock trading with personal taxes : Implications for prices and the abnormal January returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 65-89, March.
    8. 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.
    9. Cramer, J. S. & Hartog, J. & Jonker, N. & Van Praag, C. M., 2002. "Low risk aversion encourages the choice for entrepreneurship: an empirical test of a truism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 29-36, May.
    10. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Cueva Herrero & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene & Giovanni Ponti & Josefa Tomás Lucas, 2016. "The disposition effect: who and when?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2016-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

    More about this item


    disposition effect; loss aversion; investor behavior; experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles

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