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Do professional norms in the banking industry favor risk-taking?

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  • Alain Cohn
  • Ernst Fehr
  • Michel André Maréchal

Abstract

In recent years, the banking industry has witnessed several cases of excessive risk-taking that frequently have been attributed to problematic professional norms. We conduct experiments with employees from several banks in which we manipulate the saliency of their professional identity and subsequently measure their risk aversion in a real stakes investment task. If bank employees are exposed to professional norms that favor risk-taking, they should become more willing to take risks when their professional identity is salient. We find, however, that subjects take significantly less risk, challenging the view that the professional norms generally increase bank employees’ willingness to take risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Cohn & Ernst Fehr & Michel André Maréchal, 2017. "Do professional norms in the banking industry favor risk-taking?," ECON - Working Papers 244, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:244
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    Cited by:

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    2. Gibson, Rajna & Sohn, Matthias & Tanner, Carmen & Wagner, Alexander F., 2021. "Earnings Management and Managerial Honesty: The Investors' Perspectives," LawFin Working Paper Series 7, Goethe University, Center for Advanced Studies on the Foundations of Law and Finance (LawFin).
    3. Kirchler, Michael & Lindner, Florian & Weitzel, Utz, 2020. "Delegated investment decisions and rankings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    4. Glenn Boyle & Roger Stover & Amrit Tiwana & Oleksandr Zhylyevskyy, 2022. "Depositor Responses to a Banking Crisis: Are Finance Professionals Special?," Working Papers in Economics 22/03, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    5. Jeremy Celse & Alexandros Karakostas & Daniel John Zizzo, 2021. "Relative Risk Taking and Social Curiosity," Discussion Papers Series 648, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    6. Sheedy, Elizabeth & Zhang, Le & Tam, Kenny Chi Ho, 2019. "Incentives and culture in risk compliance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-1.
    7. Florian Lindner & Michael Kirchler & Stephanie Rosenkranz & Utz Weitzel, 2019. "Social Status and Risk-Taking in Investment Decisions," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2019_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    8. Da Ke, 2021. "Who Wears the Pants? Gender Identity Norms and Intrahousehold Financial Decision‐Making," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 76(3), pages 1389-1425, June.
    9. Donato Masciandaro & Paola Profeta & Davide Romelli, 2020. "Do Women Matter in Monetary Policy Boards?," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 20148, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    10. Utz Weitzel & Christoph Huber & Florian Lindner & Jürgen Huber & Julia Rose & Michael Kirchler, 2018. "Bubbles and financial professionals," Working Papers 2018-04, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Oct 2018.
    11. Huber, Christoph & Huber, Jürgen & Kirchler, Michael, 2021. "Market shocks and professionals’ investment behavior – Evidence from the COVID-19 crash," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    12. Max Deter, 2020. "Prosociality and Risk Preferences in the Financial Sector," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1075, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    13. Drupp, Moritz A. & Khadjavi, Menusch & Riekhof, Marie-Catherine & Voss, Rudi, 2020. "Professional identity and the gender gap in risk-taking. Evidence from field experiments with scientists," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 418-432.
    14. Engler, Daniel & Groh, Elke D. & Ziegler, Andreas, 2019. "The causal effect of religious and environmental identity on green preferences: A combined priming and stated choice experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203610, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. An, Jiafu & Jiang, Mengfei & Xu, Jiaman, 2021. "Professional norms and risk-taking of bank employees: Do expectations of peers’ risk preferences matter?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 56(C).
    16. Gibson, Rajna & Sohn, Matthias & Tanner, Carmen & Wagner, Alexander F, 2018. "Investing in managerial honesty," CEPR Discussion Papers 13207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Xiaoqian Fan & Qian Cao & Lin Yang, 2021. "Do professional norms in the medical industry favor outcome bias?," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 42(5), pages 1275-1283, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk culture; banking industry; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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