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Stochastic dominance and behavior towards risk: The market for Ishares

Gasbarro, D., Wong, W-K and Zumwalt, J.K. (2012) Stochastic dominance and behavior towards risk: The market for Ishares. Annals of Financial Economics, 7 (1). pp. 1250005-1.

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Prospect theory suggests that risk seeking can occur when investors face losses and thus an S-shaped utility function can be useful in explaining investor behavior. Using stochastic dominance procedures, Post and Levy (2005) find evidence of reverse S-shaped utility functions. This is consistent with investors exhibiting risk-seeking tendencies in bull markets and risk aversion in bear markets. We use both ascending and descending stochastic dominance procedures to test for risk-averse and risk-seeking behavior. By partitioning iShares ’ return distributions into negative and positive return regions, we find evidence of all four utility functions: concave, convex, S-shaped and reverse S-shaped

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Murdoch Business School
Publisher: World Scientific
Copyright: World Scientific Publishing Company
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