Firm Image and Individual Investment Behavior

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This paper documents the importance of firm image in individual investment behavior. We conduct three experiments designed to examine whether investment decisions are influenced by selective information disclosures that are intended to promote a positive or negative firm image. Importantly, the disclosures are not value-relevant. Participants actively make investment decisions that have real economic consequences. We find that participants invest more heavily in firms with a positive image than in firms with a negative image, controlling for industry membership and financial data. These results are consistent with economic models of choice that recognize that the financial outcome is not the only argument in a person's utility function.