Does Investor Risk Perception Drive Asset Prices in Markets? Experimental Evidence
37 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 24, 2017
What people perceive as risk clearly goes beyond variance. Several papers have shown that, e.g., probability of loss plays a more prominent role in perceived risk than does variance. We are the first to explore how individual risk perception influences prices and trading behavior in a market setting by exposing subjects to a number of differently shaped return distributions which they then trade on. We first elicit subjects’ individual risk perceptions, finding results in line with earlier papers. We then let subjects trade assets with these return distributions on a continuous double auction market. In the markets we observe active trading and prices strongly driven by average risk perception. While standard finance theory predicts identical prices for most of our assets we find average prices to vary by up to 20 percent, with assets perceived as being less risky trading at significantly higher prices.
Keywords: Risk, Risk Perception, Asset Market, Experiment
JEL Classification: D81, G11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation