Review of Managerial Science

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 511–552 | Cite as

Overconfidence and risk seeking in credit markets: an experimental game

  • David Peón
  • Manel Antelo
  • Anxo Calvo
Original Paper


Behavioral biases may influence bank decisions when granting credit to their customers. This paper explores this possibility in an experimental setting, contributing to the literature in two ways. First, we designed a business simulation game that replicates the basic decision-making processes of a bank granting credit to clients under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Second, we implemented a series of short tests to measure participants’ overconfidence and risk profile according to prospect theory and then conduct an experimental implementation of the simulation game. We find that higher levels of overprecision and risk seeking for gains (mostly attributable to distortion of probabilities) foster lower prices and higher volumes of credit, and reduce quality. The most consistent result is that distortion of probabilities affects the ability to discriminate between the quality of borrowers according to objective information, fostering strategies of lower loan prices to lower quality clients. The external validity of the results is also discussed.


Experimental economics Business simulation games Banking Credit markets Overconfidence Prospect theory 

JEL Classification

C91 D03 D81 G21 



The authors wish to thank the Editor of Review of Managerial Science and two anonymous referees for their insightful comments and suggestions. They also thank Andrea Ceschi and Paulino Martínez for very valuable support in the experiment design, and Enrico Cervellati, Xosé Manuel M. Filgueira and Rafael García for technical assistance. M.A. appreciates the financial aid received from the Galician Autonomous Government through project GPC 2013-045.

Supplementary material

11846_2015_166_MOESM1_ESM.docx (528 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 527 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo BBVAA CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Financial Economics and AccountancyUniversity of A CorunaA CoruñaSpain

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