Psychological Bias as a Driver of Financial Regulation
European Financial Management Journal, Forthcoming
36 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2007 Last revised: 13 Dec 2008
Date Written: October 2, 2007
I propose here the psychological attraction theory of financial regulation - that regulation is the result of psychological biases on the part of political participants - voters, politicians, bureaucrats, and media commentators; and of regulatory ideologies that exploit these biases. Some key elements of the psychological attraction approach are: salience and vividness, omission bias, scapegoating and xenophobia, fairness and reciprocity norms, overconfidence, and mood effects. This approach further emphasizes emergent effects that arise from the interactions of individuals with psychological biases. For example, availability cascades and ideological replicators have powerful effects on regulatory outcomes.
Keywords: Investor psychology, regulation, salience, omission bias, scapegoating, xenophobia, fairness, reciprocity, norms, mood, availability cascades, overconfidence, evolutionary psychology, memes, ideology, replicators
JEL Classification: G18, H10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation