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The Utility of Gambling Reconsidered

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Author Info

  • Enrico Diecidue
  • Ulrich Schmidt
  • Peter P. Wakker

    ()

Abstract

The utility of gambling, which entails an intrinsic utility or disutility of risk, has been alluded to in the economics literature for over a century. This paper demonstrates that any utility of gambling almost unavoidably implies a violation of fundamental rationality properties, such as transitivity or stochastic dominance, for static choices between gambles. This result may explain why the utility of gambling, a phenomenon so widely discussed, has never been formalized in the economics literature. The model of this paper accommodates well-known deviations from expected utility, such as the Allais paradox and the coexistence of gambling and insurance, while minimally deviating from expected utility.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 29 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 241-259

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:29:y:2004:i:3:p:241-259

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100299

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ulrich Schmidt & Zank Horst, 2013. "Chance Theory: A Separation of Riskless and Risky Utility," Kiel Working Papers 1874, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Benjamin Y. Hayden & Sarah R. Heilbronner & Amrita C. Nair & Michael L. Platt, 2008. "Cognitive influences on risk-seeking by rhesus macaques," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 389-395, June.
  3. Brennan C. Platt & Joseph Price & Henry Tappen, 2010. "Pay-to-Bid Auctions," NBER Working Papers 15695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2010. "Risk Preferences Are Not Time Preferences: Discounted Expected Utility with a Disproportionate Preference for Certainty," NBER Working Papers 16348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Han Bleichrodt & Jose Luis Pinto-Prades, 2006. "A New Type of Preference Reversal," Working Papers 06.18, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  6. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2010. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000457, David K. Levine.
  7. R. Luce & C. Ng & A. Marley & János Aczél, 2008. "Utility of gambling II: risk, paradoxes, and data," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 165-187, August.
  8. Alessandro Innocenti & Tommaso Nannicini & Roberto Ricciuti, 2012. "The Importance of Betting Early," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 037, University of Siena.
  9. Han Bleichrodt & Jose María Abellán Perpiñán & Jose Luis Pinto-Prades & Ildefonso Méndez-Martínez, 2006. "Resolving Inconsistencies in Utility Measurement under Risk: Tests of Generalizations of Expected Utility," Working Papers 06.19, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  10. Uri Gneezy & John List & George Wu, 2006. "The uncertainty effect: When a risky prospect is valued less than its worst possible outcome," Framed Field Experiments 00152, The Field Experiments Website.
  11. Dorian Jullien, 2013. "Asian Disease-type of Framing of Outcomes as an Historical Curiosity," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-47, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Économie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  12. Han Bleichrodt & Jose Luis Pinto Prades, 2009. "New evidence of preference reversals in health utility measurement," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(6), pages 713-726.
  13. George E. Newman & Daniel Mochon, 2012. "Why are lotteries valued less? Multiple tests of a direct risk-aversion mechanism," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(1), pages 19-24, January.
  14. R. Luce & C. Ng & A. Marley & János Aczél, 2008. "Utility of gambling I: entropy modified linear weighted utility," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 1-33, July.
  15. Rabin, Matthew & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2007. "Narrow Bracketing and Dominated Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 3040, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Yutaka Matsushita, 2012. "Certainty Equivalent Representation of Binary Gambles That Are Decomposed into Risky and Sure Parts," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 2, pages 65-75, May.

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