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Loss aversion equilibrium

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  • SHALEV, Jonathan

Abstract

The Nash equilibrium solution concept for strategic form games is based on the assumption of expected utility maximization. Reference dependent utility functions (in which utility is determined not only by an outcome, but also by the relationship of the outcome to a reference point) are a better predictor of behavior than expected utility. In particular, loss aversion is an important element of such utility functions. We extend strategic form games to include loss aversion characteristics of the players. We define loss-aversion equilibrium, a solution concept endogenizing reference points. Reference points emerge as expressions of anticipation which are fulfilled in equilibrium. We show existence of loss aversion equilibrium for any extended game, and compare it to Nash equilibrium. Comparative statics show that an increase in loss aversion of one player can affect his and other players’ payoffs in different directions.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s001820000038
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number -1456.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:-1456

Note: In : International Journal of Game Theory, 29, 269-287, 2000
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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. Dekel, Eddie, 1986. "An axiomatic characterization of preferences under uncertainty: Weakening the independence axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 304-318, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Ferreira J. -L. & Gilboa I. & Maschler M., 1995. "Credible Equilibria in Games with Utilities Changing during the Play," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 284-317, August.
  5. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  6. Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Reference points, anchors, norms, and mixed feelings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 296-312, March.
  7. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
  8. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
  9. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
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