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Aspiration Level, Probability Of Success And Failure, And Expected Utility

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  • Enrico Diecidue
  • Jeroen van de Ven

Abstract

Aspiration levels are a relevant aspect of decision making. We develop a model that includes the overall probabilities of success and failure relative to the aspiration level into an expected utility representation. This turns out to be equivalent to expected utility with a discontinuous utility function. We give a behavioral foundation to the proposed model and provide conditions to determine the relative weights of the overall probabilities of success and failure. An aspiration level reinforces loss aversion, can account for simultaneous risk-averse and risk-seeking behavior, and can explain choices violating the mean-variance approach. Copyright �2008 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 683-700

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:49:y:2008:i:2:p:683-700

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Cited by:
  1. Lefebvre, Mathieu & Vieider, Ferdinand M., 2014. "Risk taking of executives under different incentive contracts: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 27-36.
  2. Levy, Haim & Levy, Moshe, 2009. "The safety first expected utility model: Experimental evidence and economic implications," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1494-1506, August.
  3. Stefan Zeisberger & Thomas Langer & Martin Weber, 2012. "Why does myopia decrease the willingness to invest? Is it myopic loss aversion or myopic loss probability aversion?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(1), pages 35-50, January.
  4. Kocher, Martin G. & Pahlke, Julius & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2013. "Tempus Fugit: Time pressure in risky decisions," Munich Reprints in Economics 18174, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Webb, Craig S. & Zank, Horst, 2011. "Accounting for optimism and pessimism in expected utility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 706-717.
  6. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2013. "Reference dependent altruism in demand bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 127-140.
  7. Arvid Hoffmann & Sam Henry & Nikos Kalogeras, 2013. "Aspirations as reference points: an experimental investigation of risk behavior over time," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 193-210, August.
  8. Enrico G. De Giorgi & David B. Brown & Melvyn Sim, 2010. "Dual representation of choice and aspirational preferences," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-07, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  9. David B. Brown & Enrico G. De Giorgi & Melvyn Sim, 2009. "A Satisficing Alternative to Prospect Theory," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 2009-09, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  10. Elizaveta Perova & Renos Vakis, 2013. "Improving Gender and Development Outcomes through Agency : Policy Lessons from Three Peruvian Experiences," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16259, The World Bank.
  11. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2014. "Reference Dependent Altruism," MPRA Paper 52774, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Kocher, Martin G. & Krawczyk, Michal & Le Lec, Fabrice, 2013. "Sharing or gambling? On risk attitudes in social contexts," Discussion Papers in Economics 17383, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Truong, Nghi & Martinsson, Peter & Pham Khanh Nam & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Risk preferences and development revisited: A field experiment in Vietnam," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2013-403, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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