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They found that rankings and tournament incentives increase risk-taking among underperforming professionals, but not among students. One reason could be that professionals know that following a low-risk strategy does not increase the likelihood of a fund achieving high rankings, while a high-risk strategy makes more sense under these conditions. This behavior supports the persistence of the low-risk anomaly.
The paper is also of particular interest since most other empirical studies are based on samples of students, who might not be representative for professional investors. Many experiments involving students may underestimate the behavioral impact of incentives.
*‘Rankings and Risk-Taking in the Finance Industry’, Michael Kirchler, Florian Lindner and Utz Weitze, 2017.