High Stakes Behavior with Low Payoffs: Inducing Preferences with Holt-Laury Gambles
AbstractA continuing goal of experiments is to understand risky decisions when the decisions are important. Often a decision’s importance is related to the magnitude of the associated monetary stake. Khaneman and Tversky (1979) argue that risky decisions in high stakes environments can be informed using questionnaires with hypothetical choices (since subjects have no incentive to answer questions falsely.) However, results reported by Holt and Laury (2002, henceforth HL), as well as replications by Harrison (2005) suggest that decisions in “high” monetary payoff environments are not well-predicted by questionnaire responses. Thus, a potential implication of the HL results is that studying decisions in high stakes environments requires using high stakes. Here we describe and implement a procedure for studying high-stakes behavior in a low-stakes environment. We use the binary-lottery reward technique (introduced by Berg, et al (1986)) to induce preferences in a way that is consistent with the decisions reported by HL under a variety of stake sizes. The resulting decisions, all of which were made in a low-stakes environment, reflect surprisingly well the noisy choice behavior reported by HL’s subjects even in their highstakes environment. This finding is important because inducing preferences evidently requires substantially less cost than paying people to participate in extremely high-stakes games.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 08-11.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Dickhaut, John & Houser, Daniel & Aimone, Jason A. & Tila, Dorina & Johnson, Cathleen, 2013. "High stakes behavior with low payoffs: Inducing preferences with Holt–Laury gambles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 183-189.
- C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Berg, Joyce E & Dickhaut, John W & Rietz, Thomas A, 2003. " Preference Reversals and Induced Risk Preferences: Evidence for Noisy Maximization," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 139-70, October.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1976. "Experimental Economics: Induced Value Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 274-79, May.
- Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999.
"The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
- Camerer, Colin F. & Hogarth, Robin M., 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Working Papers 1059, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Selten, Reinhard & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Klaus Abbink, 1995.
"Money does Not Induce Risk Neutral Behavior, but Binary Lotteries Do even Worse,"
Discussion Paper Serie B
343, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Reinhard Selten & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Klaus Abbink, 1999. "Money Does Not Induce Risk Neutral Behavior, but Binary Lotteries Do even Worse," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 213-252, June.
- Berg, Joyce E, et al, 1986. "Controlling Preferences for Lotteries on Units of Experimental Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 281-306, May.
- Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutstr�m, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 897-901, June.
- Rapoport, Amnon & Stein, William E. & Parco, James E. & Nicholas, Thomas E., 2003. "Equilibrium play and adaptive learning in a three-person centipede game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 239-265, May.
- Harrison, Glenn W, 1994. "Expected Utility Theory and the Experimentalists," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 223-53.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Megan Luetje).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.