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Examining investors' sentiments, behavioral biases and investment decisions during COVID-19 in the emerging stock market: a case of Pakistan stock market

Shagufta Parveen (Management Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Attock, Pakistan)
Zoya Wajid Satti (Management Sciences Attock Campus, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Attock, Pakistan)
Qazi Abdul Subhan (Department of Management Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Nishat Riaz (Department of Management Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Samreen Fahim Baber (Department of Management Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Taqadus Bashir (Department of Management Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences

ISSN: 2054-6238

Article publication date: 26 July 2021

Issue publication date: 3 August 2023

2791

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on investors' sentiments, behavioral biases and investment decisions in the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have assessed investors' behaviors and sentiments and the stock market overreaction during COVID-19 using a questionnaire and collected data from 401 investors trading in the PSX.

Findings

Results of structural equation modeling revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic affected investors' behaviors, investment decisions and trade volume. It created feelings of fear and uncertainty among market participants. Evidence suggests that behavioral heuristics and biases, including representative heuristic, anchoring heuristic, overconfidence bias and disposition effect, negatively influenced investors' decisions at the PSX.

Research limitations/implications

This study will contribute to behavioral finance literature in the context of developing countries as it has revealed the impact of COVID-19 on the emerging stock market, and its results are generalizable to other emerging stock markets.

Practical implications

The findings of this study will help academicians, researchers and policymakers of developing countries. Academicians can formulate new behavioral models that can depict the solutions of dealing with an uncertain situation like COVID-19. Policymakers like the Securities Exchange Commission and the PSX can formulate crisis management strategies based on behavioral finance concepts to cope with situations like COVID-19 in the future and help lessen investors' losses in the stock markets. The role of the Securities Exchange Commission is crucial as it regulates the financial markets. It can arrange workshops to educate investors to manage their decisions during crisis time and focus on the best use of irrational and rational decision-making at the same time using Lo (2004) adaptive market hypothesis.

Originality/value

The novelty of the paper is that the authors have introduced overconfidence and disposition effect as mediators that create a connection between representative and anchoring heuristics and investment decisions using primary data collected from investors (institutional and retail) to demonstrate the presence of psychological biases during COVID-19, and it has been done for the first time according to authors' knowledge. It is a contribution and addition to the behavioral finance literature in the context of developing countries' stock markets and their efficiency.

Keywords

Citation

Parveen, S., Satti, Z.W., Subhan, Q.A., Riaz, N., Baber, S.F. and Bashir, T. (2023), "Examining investors' sentiments, behavioral biases and investment decisions during COVID-19 in the emerging stock market: a case of Pakistan stock market", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 549-570. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEAS-08-2020-0153

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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