Do Professional Norms in the Banking Industry Favor Risk-Taking?
University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 244
36 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 2017
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.
Keywords: Risk culture, banking industry, experiment
JEL Classification: G02, M14, C93
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation