Assistant Professor of Finance
Per Östberg is Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Zurich and has been an SFI Faculty Member since 2010. He obtained his PhD in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics. Prof. Östberg is a regular speaker at finance conferences and seminars worldwide and has also served on the program committee of several conferences.
His research interests include financial markets, household finance, and corporate finance.
One of Prof Östberg’s recent co-authored papers analyzes how the stock market investment decisions of individuals are influenced by their co-workers. Using a unique data set covering the entire Norwegian population between 1994 and 2005, the researchers find that such an influence is substantial. However, further analysis reveals that the advice given by co-workers does not improve the quality of investment decisions. Purchases made under stronger peer pressure do not perform better than investments that are made under weaker peer pressure. Additionally, the paper finds that peer pressure results in more purchases of stocks from the industry in which the individual is employed. This suggests that social interaction may have adverse effects in terms of portfolio diversification.