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The Impact of Self-Control on Investment Decisions

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  • Lucks, Konstantin

Abstract

This paper explores how reduced self-control affects individual investment behavior in two laboratory tasks. For this purpose, I exogenously reduce subjects’ self-control using a well-established psychological treatment. In each task, I find no significant main treatment effect, but secondary effects consistent with findings on self-control from other studies and self-control’s potential relevance in financial markets. In experiment 1, I find no significant change in the disposition effect following the manipulation. However, treated participants trade fewer different shares per round. In experiment 2, I look at the effect of self-control on myopic loss aversion by implementing a 2×2 design by varying investment horizon and self-control in a repeated lottery environment. Average behavior suggests that reduced self-control increases framing effects, but I cannot reject the null hypothesis of equal investment levels between the self-control treatments within each investment frame. Analyzing the dynamics of decision making in more detail, self-control depleted participants in the narrow frame reduce their investment levels on average over time which seems to be driven by more intense reactions to investment experiences.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucks, Konstantin, 2016. "The Impact of Self-Control on Investment Decisions," MPRA Paper 73099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:73099
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/73099/1/MPRA_paper_73099.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-control; loss aversion; disposition effect; trade clustering; myopic loss aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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