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The Fourfold Pattern of Risk Attitudes in Choice and Pricing Tasks

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  • WilliamT Harbaugh
  • Kate Krause
  • Lise Vesterlund

Abstract

We examine the robustness of the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes under two elicitation procedures. We find that individuals are, on average, risk-seeking over low-probability gains and high-probability losses and risk-averse over high-probability gains and low-probability losses when we elicit prices for the gambles. However, a choice-based elicitation procedure, where participants choose between a gamble and its expected value, yields individual decisions that are indistinguishable from random choice. Sensitivity to elicitation procedure holds between and within participants, and remains when participants are allowed to review and change decisions. The price elicitation procedure is more complex; this finding may be further evidence that an increase in cognitive load exacerbates behavioural anomalies. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 545 (06)
Pages: 595-611

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:545:p:595-611

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Cited by:
  1. Chetan Dave & Catherine Eckel & Cathleen Johnson & Christian Rojas, 2010. "Eliciting risk preferences: When is simple better?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 219-243, December.
  2. Crosetto, Paolo & Filippin, Antonio, 2012. "The "Bomb" Risk Elicitation Task," IZA Discussion Papers 6710, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin, 2013. "A Theoretical and Experimental Appraisal of Five Risk Elicitation Methods," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 547, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2012. "Probability and Risk: Foundations and Economic Implications of Probability-Dependent Risk Preferences," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 567-593, 07.
  5. Susan Laury & Melayne McInnes & J. Swarthout, 2009. "Insurance decisions for low-probability losses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 17-44, August.
  6. Stefan Zeisberger & Dennis Vrecko & Thomas Langer, 2012. "Measuring the time stability of Prospect Theory preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 359-386, March.
  7. Malul, Miki & Rosenboim, Mosi & Shavit, Tal, 2013. "So when are you loss averse? Testing the S-shaped function in pricing and allocation tasks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 101-112.

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