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Risk Aversion and the Subjective Time Discount Rate: A Joint Approach

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  • Bernard M.S. van Praag
  • Adam S. Booij

Abstract

In this paper we analyze a large sample of individual responses to six lottery questions. We derive a simultaneous estimate of risk aversion and the time preference discount rate per individual. This can be done because the consumption of a large prize is smoothed over a larger time period. It is found that both parameters strongly vary over individuals, while they are moderately negatively correlated. Furthermore we explain the estimated relative risk aversion and time preference by income, age, gender, entrepreneurship and an obesity index. Very significant effects are found. If we explain relative risk aversion in a simple model where time discounting is ignored, we find completely different estimates for this parameter. We conclude that in the case of lotteries with big prizes a simultaneous estimate of risk aversion and time preference is needed in order to avoid misspecification

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 923.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_923

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Keywords: expected utility; risk aversion; time preference; lotteries; hypothetical questions;

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References

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  1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  2. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié, 1997. "Estimating Preferences under Risk : The Case of Racetrack Bettors," Working Papers 97-39, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Schotman, Peter C, 2001. "Measuring Risk Attitudes in a Natural Experiment: Data from the Television Game Show Lingo," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 821-48, October.
  4. Read, Daniel, 2001. " Is Time-Discounting Hyperbolic or Subadditive?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 5-32, July.
  5. Donkers, Bas & Melenberg, Bertrand & Van Soest, Arthur, 2001. " Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries: A Large Sample Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 165-95, March.
  6. Angelina Lazaro & Ramon Barberan & Encarnacion Rubio, 2001. "Private and social time preferences for health and money: an empirical estimation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 351-356.
  7. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Evaluating Risky Consumption Paths: The Role of Intertemporal Substitutability," NBER Technical Working Papers 0120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Arie Kapteyn & Federica Teppa, 2002. "Subjective Measures of Risk Aversion and Portfolio Choice," Working Papers 02-03, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  10. Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
  11. Wakker, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1993. " An Axiomatization of Cumulative Prospect Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 147-75, October.
  12. Trostel, Philip A & Taylor, Grant A, 2001. "A Theory of Time Preference," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 379-95, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Frans van Winden & Michal Krawczyk & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2008. "Investment, Resolution of Risk, and the Role of Affect," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-047/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Lahav, Eyal & Benzion, Uri & Shavit, Tal, 2010. "Subjective time discount rates among teenagers and adults: Evidence from Israel," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 458-465, August.
  3. Marieka Klawitter, 2008. "The effects of sexual orientation and marital status on how couples hold their money," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 423-446, December.
  4. Leroux, Anke D. & Creedy, John, 2007. "Optimal land conversion and growth with uncertain biodiversity costs," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 542-549, March.
  5. Anderson, C. Leigh & Nevitte, Neil, 2006. "Teach your children well: Values of thrift and saving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 247-261, April.
  6. Anke D. Wurzbacher, 2004. "Dynamic Ecological Constraints to Economic Growth," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 909, The University of Melbourne.
  7. Furdas, Marina & Kohn, Karsten, 2010. "What's the Difference?! Gender, Personality, and the Propensity to Start a Business," IZA Discussion Papers 4778, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Werner Bönte & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich, 2007. "Demography and Innovative Entrepreneurship," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-084, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  9. Booij, Adam S. & van Praag, Bernard M.S., 2009. "A simultaneous approach to the estimation of risk aversion and the subjective time discount rate," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 374-388, May.

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