Investor gambling preferences and stock returns: evidence from the Shanghai A-share markets

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This study aims to examine the relationship between investor gambling preferences and stock returns, using data for all firms listed in Shanghai A-share market during 2016 and 2021.

This study employs price and trading volume data to capture the behavioral characteristics and gambling preferences of investors. Using the Fama-French three-factor and five-factor models to estimate benchmark returns, this study investigates whether investing in gambling stocks can yield positive excess returns.

The study reveals that stocks identified as gambling stocks generate high returns in the month they are identified as such but subsequently experience a significant drop in excess returns compared to non-gambling stocks over the following one to six months. These results are found to be consistent across different methods used to classify gambling stocks and across various industry sectors.

Research limitations/implications
This research provides insights into the risk-return tradeoff of different stock types and the factors that fuel irrational investment behavior. This research underscores the importance of considering the behavioral elements of investment, particularly in emerging markets where individual investors have a significant impact.

Practical implications
This study advises investors to avoid adopting a gambler or speculative mindset and instead make well-informed and calculated investment decisions that are in line with investors financial objectives and risk appetite. This approach can help create a more stable and sustainable financial market.

This study provides new evidence on the relationship between gambling preferences and future stock returns in financial markets and sheds new light on the important role of irrational factors in investment decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date18 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2023


  • Gambling stocks
  • Gambling preferences
  • Irrational investment behavior
  • Fama-French five-factor model
  • Chinese stock markets


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