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The impact of endogenous and exogenous cash inflows in experimental asset markets

Martin Angerer and Wiebke Szymczak

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 166, issue C, 216-238

Abstract: Previous studies report a robust positive relationship between cash endowments and asset prices in experimental asset markets. Higher cash endowments generally increase the proportion of riskless versus risky wealth at the individual and aggregate level as well as the capacity of market participants to seize investment opportunities, i.e., their transactional liquidity. In this study, we vary the size and composition of riskless endowments in order to analyze the impact of different types of “cash” on trading behavior in experimental asset markets with randomly fluctuating fundamental values. In all treatments except the baseline, we allow subjects to control the liquidity of their cash endowment endogenously by providing some proportion of their riskless endowment in a physical store of value, which can be converted into experimental currency for trading. We observe that most subjects retain a large proportion of their wealth in the physical store of value. Inconsistent with rational choice theory, average trading prices and trading volumes are lower when “cash” is provided in a convertible store of value rather than experimental currency. Surprisingly, the price effect manifests asymmetrically on the buy side but not the sell side. Moreover, we control for potential changes in risk appetite resulting from higher riskless endowments. Our results suggest that transactional liquidity not a risky demand shift drives the relationship between cash endowments and asset prices.

Keywords: Cash/asset ratio; Trading endowments; Asset market experiment; Financial decision making (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.08.009

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