Priming and Stock Preferences: Evidence From IPO Lotteries

53 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2020 Last revised: 22 Jun 2021

See all articles by Conghui Hu

Conghui Hu

Beijing Normal University, Business School

Yu-Jane Liu

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management

Xin Xu

Guangdong University of Finance and Economics; Guangdong University of Finance and Economics - School of Finance

Jianfeng Yu

Tsinghua University - PBC School of Finance

Date Written: December 25, 2019

Abstract

Existing studies in social psychology have found that priming has pervasive effects, mostly in laboratory settings and over short periods of time. This study investigates the priming effect in the real financial world and over longer periods of time. We hypothesize that successful lottery-like experiences raise investors’ subsequent demand for other lottery-like stocks by increasing the accessibility of tail events. By exploiting the randomized distribution of IPO shares in China as a natural experiment, we find that, compared with matched control investors, the investors who were allocated IPO shares (lottery winners) substantially shift their non-IPO portfolios toward lottery-like stocks over the three months subsequent to the distribution. This effect is more pronounced for investors winning IPO lotteries with lower winning rates or larger issue-price discounts. Moreover, lottery winners experience a decrease in their overall portfolio return by more than 1% within the three months subsequent to the distribution relative to matched control investors, which is largely in proportion to the increases in their subsequent demand for lottery-like stocks. Our findings are not explained by the house money effect or the wealth effect. Overall, our study suggests that lottery-like cues play a critical role in shaping investors’ gambling preferences in stock markets, providing field-based evidence for the long-term priming effect.

Keywords: priming, preferences, lottery, IPO

JEL Classification: G11, G14, C91

Suggested Citation

Hu, Conghui and Liu, Yu-Jane and Xu, Xin and Yu, Jianfeng, Priming and Stock Preferences: Evidence From IPO Lotteries (December 25, 2019). PBCSF-NIFR Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3509437 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3509437

Conghui Hu

Beijing Normal University, Business School ( email )

19 Xinjiekou Outer St
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100875
China

Yu-Jane Liu

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management ( email )

Beijing
China

Xin Xu

Guangdong University of Finance and Economics ( email )

Room 339, the 2nd North Building
21th Luntou Road
Guangzhou, 510320
China

Guangdong University of Finance and Economics - School of Finance ( email )

Guagnzhou
China

Jianfeng Yu (Contact Author)

Tsinghua University - PBC School of Finance ( email )

No. 43, Chengdu Road
Haidian District
Beijing 100083
China

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