IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/cfswop/201023.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why do investors sell losers? How adaptation to losses affects future capitulation decisions

Author

Listed:
  • Lee, Carmen
  • Kräussl, Roman
  • Lucas, André
  • Paas, Leo

Abstract

According to disposition effect theory, people hold losing investments too long. However, many investors eventually sell at a loss, and little is known about which psychological factors contribute to these capitulation decisions. This study integrates prospect theory, utility maximization theory, and theory on reference point adaptation to argue that the combination of a negative expectation about an investment's future performance and a low level of adaptation to previous losses leads to a greater capitulation probability. The test of this hypothesis in a dynamic experimental setting reveals that a larger total loss and longer time spent in a losing position lead to downward adaptations of the reference point. Negative expectations about future investment performance lead to a greater capitulation probability. Consistent with the theoretical framework, empirical evidence supports the relevance of the interaction between adaptation and expectation as a determinant of capitulation decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Carmen & Kräussl, Roman & Lucas, André & Paas, Leo, 2010. "Why do investors sell losers? How adaptation to losses affects future capitulation decisions," CFS Working Paper Series 2010/23, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201023
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/43253/1/641476647.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert C. Blattberg & Richard Briesch & Edward J. Fox, 1995. "How Promotions Work," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(3_supplem), pages 122-132.
    2. Marquis, M Susan & Holmer, Martin R, 1996. "Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty and Demand for Health Insurance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 421-427, August.
    3. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L’Haridon, 2008. "A tractable method to measure utility and loss aversion under prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 245-266, June.
    4. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanie, 2000. "Estimating Preferences under Risk: The Case of Racetrack Bettors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 503-530, June.
    5. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    6. Theresa K. Lant, 1992. "Aspiration Level Adaptation: An Empirical Exploration," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(5), pages 623-644, May.
    7. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1233-1260.
    8. Arkes, Hal R. & Hirshleifer, David & Jiang, Danling & Lim, Sonya, 2008. "Reference point adaptation: Tests in the domain of security trading," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 67-81, January.
    9. Richard H. Thaler & Eric J. Johnson, 1990. "Gambling with the House Money and Trying to Break Even: The Effects of Prior Outcomes on Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 643-660, June.
    10. Baucells, Manel & Weber, Martin & Welfens, Frank, 2007. "Reference point formation over time : a weighting function approach," Papers 07-43, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    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. 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.
    13. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, March.
    14. Dan J. Laughhunn & John W. Payne & Roy Crum, 1980. "Managerial Risk Preferences for Below-Target Returns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(12), pages 1238-1249, December.
    15. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    16. Zeelenberg, Marcel & van Dijk, Eric, 1997. "A reverse sunk cost effect in risky decision making: Sometimes we have too much invested to gamble," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 677-691, November.
    17. Bruce G. S. Hardie & Eric J. Johnson & Peter S. Fader, 1993. "Modeling Loss Aversion and Reference Dependence Effects on Brand Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(4), pages 378-394.
    18. 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.
    19. Morrin, Maureen, et al, 2002. " Taking Stock of Stockbrokers: Exploring Momentum versus Contrarian Investor Strategies and Profiles," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 188-198, September.
    20. De Giorgi, Enrico & Hens, Thorsten & Post, Thierry, 2005. "Prospect Theory and the Size and Value Premium Puzzles," Discussion Papers 2005/20, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    21. Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Akshay R. Rao, 2002. "Close Encounters of Two Kinds: False Alarms and Dashed Hopes," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(2), pages 178-196, August.
    22. Loehman, Edna, 1998. "Testing risk aversion and nonexpected utility theories," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 285-302, January.
    23. Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investments; Adaptation; Reference Point; Capitulation; Selling Decisions; Disposition Effect; Financial Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201023. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ifkcfde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.