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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:

    1. 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 Jun 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk culture; banking industry; experiment;

    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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