Exploiting portfolio data and repeated surveys of an Italian bank's clients, we test whether investors’ risk aversion increases following the 2008 crisis. We find that, after the crisis, both qualitative and quantitative measures of risk aversion increase substantially and that affected individuals divest more stock. We investigate four explanations: changes in wealth, expected income, perceived probabilities, and emotion-based changes of the utility function. Our data are inconsistent with the first two channels, while they suggest that fear is a potential mechanism underlying financial decisions, whether by increasing the curvature of the utility function or the salience of negative outcomes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Journal of Financial Economics|
|State||Published - Jun 2018|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics
- Strategy and Management