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Overconfidence, Risk Aversion and Individual Financial Decisions in Experimental Asset Markets

Michailova, Julija (2010): Overconfidence, Risk Aversion and Individual Financial Decisions in Experimental Asset Markets.

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Abstract

We investigate the influence of overconfidence and risk aversion on individual financial decision making in the experimental asset markets of the Smith, Suchanek and Williams (1988) type, with no informational asymmetries. Subjects, based on their pre-experimental overconfidence scores, were assigned to the two types of markets: least overconfident subjects formed five “rational” markets and most overconfident subjects formed five “overconfident” markets. The asset market experiment was followed by post hoc risk aversion measurement. Our results revealed that in the suggested setting, performance and trading activity were overconfidence dependent only for female participants. Mistakes in price forecasting, that are negatively correlated with overconfidence, could partially account for the increase in trading activity and losses. In the decreased sample differences in individual outcomes were overconfidence and not risk aversion driven.

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