Graduation Year

2016

Date of Submission

4-2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Eric Hughson

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2016 Iris Liu

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the behavior of subjects in a mock financial investment experiment to investigate the effects of “skin in the game” and ego utility on hedonic information acquisition decisions. We observe how often subjects “check” their portfolios after given general market returns, and whether conditions impact the existence and magnitude of the ostrich effect – the tendency to avoid information expected to be negative. When considering these experiment conditions as well as subject sex, risk aversion, curiosity, financial literacy and investing experience, we do not find an ostrich effect. We do find that females check their portfolios more often on average than males. Finally, we find that risk-averse people will check their portfolios more often, regardless of market returns or sex.

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