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Volatility shocks and investment behavior

We investigate how volatility shocks influence investments into a risky asset, perceptions about the asset’s risk, its future price/return development, and investor satisfaction. We run investment experiments mimicking volatility shocks with two subject pools (financial professionals and students) in two waves: one during a comparatively tranquil stock market period in December 2019 and one during the volatile period of March 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the experiments, participants take investment decisions in six treatments differing in (i) the direction of the volatility shock (down, up, straight) and (ii) the presentation format of the time series (prices or returns). We particularly investigate the influence of changes in risk preferences, triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, on investment behavior in the experiment.

Lead investigator:

Christoph Huber


University of Innsbruck

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

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