How price path characteristics shape investment behavior

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Price paths are often the only graphical representation of financial products investors receive before making an investment decision. We argue that price paths serve as ”graphical” frames that influence the perceived attractiveness of an asset by highlighting specific asset characteristics. In a controlled lab experiment we find that price paths have an impact on investment decisions. In a regression we test a simple model relating the perception of price path shapes to several heuristics. These heuristics are: focusing on more recent outcomes, deriving implicit reference prices from focal prices, focusing on losses, and estimating risk from the amplitude of the path. We conclude that investment decisions are systematically biased due to the shape of an asset's price path.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Pages (from-to)33-59
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2018
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Attribute framing, Behavioral investment choice, Experiment, Loss aversion, Price paths, Reference point
  • Management studies