Incentive schemes, framing, and market behaviour: evidence from an asset-market experiment

Xuegang Cui, Nick Feltovich, Kun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate how asset prices and trading behaviour are impacted by the structure and framing of incentives, using a lab experiment. Subjects buy and sell a high-risk asset, a low-risk asset, and riskless cash over 10 rounds. We vary, between-subjects, the incentive scheme (relative versus absolute performance), and how the variable component of incentives is framed (bonus versus penalty), while holding constant the convexity of incentives. Both relative-performance (tournament) incentives and penalty framing are associated with significant increases in the price of the high-risk asset, relative to either its fundamental value or to the price of the low-risk asset. Additional analysis shows significant gender differences in trading behaviour and performance, and evidence that the two may be connected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-324
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Asset markets
  • Behavioural finance
  • Bubbles
  • Experiment
  • Framing
  • Gender
  • Incentives
  • Tournament

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