Discussion paper

DP16373 Experience Effects in Finance: Foundations, Applications, and Future Directions

This article establishes four key findings of the growing literature on experience effects in finance: (1) the long-lasting imprint of past experiences on beliefs and risk taking, (2) recency effects, (3) the domain-specificity of experience effects, and (4) imperviousness to information that is not experience-based. I first discuss the neuroscientific foundations of experience-based learning and sketch a simple model of its role in the stock market based on Malmendier et al. (2020a,b). I then distill the empirical findings on experience effects in stock-market investment, trade dynamics, and international capital flows, highlighting these four key features. Finally, I contrast models of belief formation that rely on "learned information" with models accounting for the neuroscience evidence on synaptic tagging and memory formation, and provide directions for future research.

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Citation

Malmendier, U (2021), “DP16373 Experience Effects in Finance: Foundations, Applications, and Future Directions”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 16373. https://new.cepr.org/publications/dp16373