You are here

Who Pays the Price for Bad Advice? The Role of Financial Vulnerability, Learning and Confirmation Bias

Hazel Bateman

Julie Agnew, Hazel Bateman, Christine Eckert, Fedor Iskhakov, Jordan Louviere, Susan Thorp

Abstract: What kinds of people will pay bad financial advisers? We show that experimental participants (n=2003) with a proclivity toward confirmation bias are more susceptible to bad advisers. We give participants a sequence of signals of adviser quality that can be clear or ambiguous, depending on each participant’s ability to discern bad advice. Rational participants set aside ambiguous signals and do not use them to update beliefs about advisers. Biased participants treat ambiguous signals as favoring their priors, and update accordingly. Younger, more trusting, more impulsive, less financially literate and less numerate participants are most vulnerable to paying a poor-quality adviser.


PDF icon Download (3.06 MB)