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Decision making under risk in Deal or No Deal

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  • Nicolas de Roos

    (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

  • Yianis Sarafidis

    (CRA International, Washington (DC), USA)

Abstract

We analyse the choices of 399 contestants in the Australian version of the television game show Deal or No Deal. We calculate risk aversion bounds for each contestant, revealing considerable heterogeneity. We then estimate a structural stochastic choice model that captures the dynamic decision problem faced by contestants. To address individual heterogeneity, we nest the dynamic problem within the settings of both a random effects and a random coefficients probit model. Our structural model produces plausible estimates of risk aversion, confirms the role of individual heterogeneity and suggests that a model of stochastic choice is indeed appropriate. We find mixed evidence of greater risk aversion by females. We also examine generalizations to expected utility theory, finding that the rank-dependent utility model adds non-negligible explanatory power and indicates optimism in probability weighting. Finally, we test, but are unable to confirm, the existence of an endowment effect for lotteries. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 987-1027

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:25:y:2010:i:6:p:987-1027

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  1. Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt731230f8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Noussair, C.N. & Healy, P., 2004. "Bidding behavior in the 'price is right' game: An experimental study," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377939, Tilburg University.
  3. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  4. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-54, Summer.
  5. Zvi Safra & Uzi Segal, 2006. "Calibration Results for Non-Expected Utility Theories," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 645, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Roberto Serrano & Oscar Volij, 2003. "Rejecting Small Gambles Under Expected Utility," Economics Working Papers 0032, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  7. Botti Fabrizio & Conte Anna & Di Cagno Daniela Teresa & D'Ippoliti Carlo, 2008. "Risk Attitude in Real Decision Problems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-32, March.
  8. Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
  9. Beetsma, Roel & Schotman, Peter C, 1998. "Measuring Risk Attitudes in a Natural Experiment: Data from the Television Game Show LINGO," CEPR Discussion Papers 1893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Neilson, William S, 1998. "Reference Wealth Effects in Sequential Choice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 27-47, October.
  11. Rafael Tenorio & Timothy N. Cason, 2002. "To Spin or Not to Spin? Natural and Laboratory Experiments from "The Price is Right"," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 170-195, January.
  12. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  13. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  14. Gertner, Robert, 1993. "Game Shows and Economic Behavior: Risk-Taking on "Card Sharks."," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 507-21, May.
  15. Thierry Post & Martijn J. van den Assem & Guido Baltussen & Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Deal or No Deal? Decision Making under Risk in a Large-Payoff Game Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 38-71, March.
  16. Bennett, Randall W. & Hickman, Kent A., 1993. "Rationality and the 'price is right'," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 99-105, May.
  17. Connel Fullenkamp & Rafael Tenorio & Robert Battalio, 2003. "Assessing Individual Risk Attitudes Using Field Data From Lottery Games," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 218-226, February.
  18. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
  19. Metrick, Andrew, 1995. "A Natural Experiment in "Jeopardy!"," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 240-53, March.
  20. Cary Deck & Jungmin Lee & Javier Reyes, 2008. "Risk attitudes in large stake gambles: evidence from a game show," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 41-52.
  21. Pavlo Blavatskyy & Ganna Pogrebna, 2006. "Testing the Predictions of Decision Theories in a Natural Experiment When Half a Million Is at Stake," IEW - Working Papers 291, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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Cited by:
  1. Gaudecker, H.M. von & Soest, A.H.O. van & Wengstrom, E., 2009. "Heterogeneity in Risky Choice Behavior in a Broad Population," Discussion Paper 2009-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Gregory S. Berns & C. Monica Capra & Sara Moore & Charles Noussair, 2007. "A shocking experiment: New evidence on probability weighting and common ratio violations," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 2, pages 234-242, August.
  3. Pavlo Blavatskyy & Ganna Pogrebna, 2008. "Risk Aversion when Gains are Likely and Unlikely: Evidence from a Natural Experiment with Large Stakes," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 395-420, March.
  4. Hans-Martin Gaudecker & Arthur Soest & Erik Wengström, 2012. "Experts in experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 159-190, October.
  5. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2014. "Double or nothing?! Small groups making decisions under risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 243-274, August.
  6. Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von & van Soest, Arthur & Wengström, Erik, 2011. "Experts in Experiments: How Selection Matters for Estimated Distributions of Risk Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 5575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Blavatskyy, Pavlo R., 2012. "Utility of a quarter-million," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 650-653.
  8. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2011. "Double or Nothing!? Small Groups Making Decisions Under Risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Ruhr Economic Papers 0278, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  9. Gee, C., 2007. "Risky Choice and Type-Uncertainty in "Deal or No Deal?"," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0758, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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