Behavioural Economics Seminar
Delegation Decisions in Finance
Assistant professor at University of Innsbruck
Based on an online experiment with finance professionals and subjects from the general population (i.e., clients), we examine drivers and implications of clients’ delegation decisions. We find that clients prefer delegating to investment algorithms, followed by delegating to professionals with aligned incentives, and lastly to finance professionals compensated with a fixed payment. We show that trust in investment algorithms or money managers, respectively, and clients’ propensity to shift blame on others increase the likelihood of delegation, whereas own decision-making quality is associated with a decrease in the likelihood of delegation. In measuring the implications of clients’ delegation decisions, we report high variability among professionals’ perception of clients’ preferred risk levels. We show that this results in overlaps in portfolio risk across risk-levels of clients, indicating potential pitfalls in risk communication between clients and agents.
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