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Bank Risk-Taking in a Prospect Theory Framework Empirical Investigation in the Emerging Markets’ Case


  • Christophe Godlewski

    (LaRGE, Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Université Robert Schuman, Strasbourg 3)


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the validity of some behavioral conjectures as alternative explanations of bank risk-taking behavior. We especially focus on the different valuation of gains and losses relative to a reference point, and the changing attitude toward risk conditional on the domain (gains vs losses) features (Tversky and Kahneman 1992). We follow a methodology based on Fiegenbaum and Thomas (1988) and the Fishburn (1977) measure of risk, applied to a sample of banks from emerging market economies. Preliminary results show that the Tversky and Kahneman (1992) framework could provide an alternative for explaining risk-taking behavior in the banking industry. Bankers located above benchmark levels, exhibit risk aversion. Although, further investigations are needed in order to consolidate our conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Godlewski, 2004. "Bank Risk-Taking in a Prospect Theory Framework Empirical Investigation in the Emerging Markets’ Case," Finance 0409024, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0409024
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Barberis, Nicholas & Thaler, Richard, 2003. "A survey of behavioral finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1053-1128 Elsevier.
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    11. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    12. Coleen C. Pantalone & Marjorie B. Platt, 1987. "Predicting commercial bank failure since deregulation," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 37-47.
    13. P. Honohan, 2000. "Banking System Failures in Developing and Transition Countries: Diagnosis and Prediction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 29(1), pages 83-109, February.
    14. Busse, Jeffrey A., 2001. "Another Look at Mutual Fund Tournaments," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 53-73, March.
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    More about this item


    Cumulative Prospect Theory; bank risk taking; emerging market economies;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • F39 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Other
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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