Psychological Factors and Stock Option Exercise
Posted: 16 Mar 1999
We investigate stock option exercise decisions by over 50,000 employees at seven corporations. Controlling for economic factors, psychological factors influence exercise. Consistent with psychological models of beliefs, employees exercise in response to stock price trends--exercise is positively related to stock returns during the preceding month and negatively related to returns over longer horizons. Consistent with psychological models of values that include reference points, employee exercise activity doubles when the stock price exceeds the maximum price attained during the previous year.
JEL Classification: D81, J33, M12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation