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The relationship between risk attitudes and heuristics in search tasks: A laboratory experiment

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  • Schunk, Daniel
  • Winter, Joachim

Abstract

Experimental studies of search behavior suggest that individuals stop searching earlier than the optimal, risk-neutral stopping rule predicts. Two different classes of decision rules could generate this behavior: rules that are optimal conditional on utility functions departing from risk neutrality, or heuristics derived from limited cognitive processing capacities and satisficing. To discriminate between these possibilities, we conducted an experiment that consists of a search task as well as a lottery task designed to elicit utility functions. We find that search heuristics are not related to measures of risk aversion, but to measures of loss aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 71 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 347-360

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:71:y:2009:i:2:p:347-360

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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Keywords: Search Heuristics Utility function elicitation Risk attitudes Prospect theory;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ibanez, Marcela & Czermak, Simon & Sutter, Matthias, 2008. "Searching for a better deal - on the influence of group decision making, time pressure and gender in a search experiment," Working Papers in Economics 296, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Goecke, Henry & Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Roos, Michael W.M., 2013. "Rational inattentiveness in a forecasting experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 80-89.
  3. Couture, Stéphane & Reynaud, Arnaud, 2010. "Stability of Risk Preference Measures: Results from a Field Experiment on French Farmers," TSE Working Papers 10-151, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  4. Hizen, Yoichi & Kawata, Keisuke & Sasaki, Masaru, 2012. "An Experimental Test of a Committee Search Model," IZA Discussion Papers 6861, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter J., 2010. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," IZA Discussion Papers 4941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Gil-Lacruz, Ana I. & Gil-Lacruz, Marta, 2011. "Internal Inconsistency and Risk Aversion: Implications on Smoking Decisions/Consistencia interna y aversión al riesgo: implicaciones en la decisión de fumar," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 29, pages 387 (18 pá, Abril.
  7. Eriksson, Kimmo & Strimling, Pontus, 2010. "The devil is in the details: Incorrect intuitions in optimal search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 338-347, August.
  8. Schunk, Daniel, 2009. "Behavioral heterogeneity in dynamic search situations: Theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1719-1738, September.
  9. Franz Rothlauf & Daniel Schunk & Jella Pfeiffer, 2005. "Classification of Human Decision Behavior: Finding Modular Decision Rules with Genetic Algorithms," MEA discussion paper series 05079, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

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