Heuristics and biases in the Israeli mortgage market

Moran Ofir, Yevgeny Mugerman, Zvi Wiener

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This research examines the three seminal heuristics that are employed in decision-making under uncertainty: availability; representativeness; and anchoring and adjustment; and their appearance in the Israeli mortgage market. We argue that the standard economic criteria are sometimes inadequate to explain household’s choices, which may be motivated by heuristic principles which reduce the complex task of choosing a mortgage. More specifically, we focus on the households’ choice between fixed rate mortgages (FRM) and adjustable rate mortgages (ARM). We empirically examine the effect of these heuristics on the decision between ARM and FRM using a unique data provided to us by the Bank of Israel, which contains detailed information on the household’s decision between fixed and adjustable rate mortgage contracts in Israel in the past decade. The results of our analysis demonstrate a significant effect of availability and representativeness heuristics on households’ decision. In addition, we show that regulatory provisions regarding the loan division between FRM and ARM may serve as a possible anchor to the borrowers.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationBEHAVIORAL FINANCE
Subtitle of host publicationWHERE DO INVESTORS’ BIASES COME FROM?
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789813100091
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.


  • Adjustable and fixed rate mortgages
  • Heuristics and biases
  • Household finance
  • Mortgage decision making


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