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Living with Risk

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  • Larry G. Epstein

Abstract

Living with risk can lead to anticipatory feelings such as anxiety or hopefulness. Such feelings can affect the choice between lotteries that will be played out in the future—choice may be motivated not only by the (static) risks involved but also by the desire to reduce anxiety or to promote savouring. This paper provides a model of preference in a three-period setting that is axiomatic and includes a role for anticipatory feelings. It is shown that the model of preference can accommodate intuitive patterns of demand for information such as information seeking when a favourable outcome is very likely and information aversion when it is more likely that the outcome will be unfavourable. Behavioural meaning is given to statements such as "individual 1 is anxious" and "2 is more anxious than 1". Finally, the model is differentiated sharply from the classic model due to Kreps and Porteus. Copyright 2008, Wiley-Blackwell.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2008.00504.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 75 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 1121-1141

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:4:p:1121-1141

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References

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  1. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
  2. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory And Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79, February.
  3. 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.
  4. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  5. Tversky, Amos & Wakker, Peter, 1995. "Risk Attitudes and Decision Weights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1255-80, November.
  6. Segal, Uzi, 1990. "Two-Stage Lotteries without the Reduction Axiom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 349-77, March.
  7. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  8. Hong, Chew Soo & Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. "Risk aversion in the theory of expected utility with rank dependent probabilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 370-381, August.
  9. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  10. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2004. "The supply of information by a concerned expert," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 487-505, 07.
  11. Peleg, Bezalel & Yaari, Menahem E, 1973. "On the Existence of a Consistent Course of Action when Tastes are Changing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 391-401, July.
  12. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Can anticipatory feelings explain anomalous choices of information sources?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 87-104, July.
  13. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman, 2010. "How (Not) to Do Decision Theory," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 257-282, 09.
  2. repec:bos:wpaper:wp2013-002 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Sarver, Todd & Ergin, Haluk, 0. "Hidden actions and preferences for timing of resolution of uncertainty," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
  4. Dag Sommervoll, 2013. "Sweet self-deception," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 73-88, May.
  5. André Lapied & Thomas Rongiconi, 2013. "Ambiguity as a Source of Temptation: Modeling Unstable Beliefs," AMSE Working Papers 1316, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
  6. Larry Epstein & Emmanuel Farhi & Tomasz Strzalecki, . "How Much Would You Pay to Resolve Long-Run Risk?," Working Paper 8366, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. Todd Sarver, 2012. "Optimal Reference Points and Anticipation," Discussion Papers 1566, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Thomas M. Eisenbach & Martin C. Schmalz, 2013. "Up close it feels dangerous: 'anxiety' in the face of risk," Staff Reports 610, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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