NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Rationalizing Trading Frequency and Returns: Maybe Trading is Good for You

Yosef Bonaparte, Russell Cooper, Mengli Sha

NBER Working Paper No. 25838
Issued in May 2019, Revised in April 2020
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth

Barber and Odean (2000) find that households who trade more have a lower net return than others and attribute this pattern to irrationality, particularly overconfidence. In contrast, we find that household financial choices generated from a dynamic optimization problem with rational agents and portfolio adjustment costs can reproduce the observed pattern of households with large turnover having lower net returns. Various forms of irrationality, modeled as beliefs about income and return processes that are not data based, do not improve the ability of the baseline model to explain these turnover and net returns patterns.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25838

 
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