Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis

  • Author(s): MICHAEL S. HAIGH, JOHN A. LIST
  • Published: Jul 20, 2005
  • Pages: 523-534
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2005.00737.x

ABSTRACT

Two behavioral concepts, loss aversion and mental accounting, have been combined to provide a theoretical explanation of the equity premium puzzle. Recent experimental evidence supports the theory, as students' behavior has been found to be consistent with myopic loss aversion (MLA). Yet, much like certain anomalies in the realm of riskless decision‐making, these behavioral tendencies may be attenuated among professionals. Using traders recruited from the CBOT, we do indeed find behavioral differences between professionals and students, but rather than discovering that the anomaly is muted, we find that traders exhibit behavior consistent with MLA to a greater extent than students.

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