Rankings and Risk-Taking in the Finance Industry

Michael Kirchler, Florian Lindner, Utz Weitzel

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Rankings are omnipresent in the finance industry, yet the literature is silent on how they impact financial professionals' behavior. Using lab-in-the-field experiments with 657 professionals and lab experiments with 432 students, we investigate how rank incentives affect investment decisions. We find that both rank and tournament incentives increase risk-taking among underperforming professionals, while only tournament incentives affect students. This rank effect is robust to the experimental frame (investment frame vs. abstract frame), to payoff consequences (own return vs. family return), to social identity priming (private identity vs. professional identity), and to professionals' gender (no gender differences among professionals).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2271-2302
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Finance
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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