7. Behavioral Finance: The Role of Psychology

by David Jenyns on July 7, 2011

Financial Markets (ECON 252) Behavioral Finance is a relatively recent revolution in finance that applies insights from all of the social sciences to finance. New decision-making models incorporate psychology and sociology, among other disciplines, to explain economic and financial phenomenon, such as erratic stock price variations. Psychological patterns such as overconfidence and perceived kinks in the value function seem to impact financial decision-making, but are not included in classical theories such as the Expected Utility Theory. Kahneman and Tversky’s Prospect Theory addresses such issues and sheds light on irrational deviations from traditional decision-making models. Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: open.yale.edu This course was recorded in Spring 2008.

Financial Markets (ECON 252) Real Estate is the biggest asset class and of great importance for both individuals and institutional investors. An array of economic and psychological factors impact real estate investment decisions and the public has changing ideas of real estate as a profitable investment. People’s demand to buy a home by taking on long-term debt, called a mortgage, is often tied with the overall health of the economy and financial markets. In recessions, home buying tends to fall and the opposite holds in a strong economy. Commercial real estate, held indirectly by the public through partnerships and real estate investment trusts (REITs), is vulnerable to similar speculative activity. The most recent real estate boom illustrates the speculative nature of real estate, and its relation to financial and economic crises. Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: open.yale.edu This course was recorded in Spring 2008.
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