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History-Dependent Risk Attitude

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Abstract

We propose a model of history-dependent risk attitude, allowing a decision maker’s risk attitude to be affected by his history of disappointments and elations. The decision maker recursively evaluates compound risks, classifying realizations as disappointing or elating using a threshold rule. We establish equivalence between the model and two cognitive biases: risk attitudes are reinforced by experiences (one is more risk averse after disappointment than after elation) and there is a primacy effect (early outcomes have the greatest impact on risk attitude). In dynamic asset pricing, the model yields volatile, path-dependent prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1763.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision: Jul 2012
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1763

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Keywords: History-dependent risk attitude; Reinforcement effect; Primacy effect; Dynamic reference dependence;

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  1. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert & Liu, Jun, 2005. "Why stocks may disappoint," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 471-508, June.
  2. Kareen Rozen, 2010. "Foundations of Intrinsic Habit Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1341-1373, 07.
  3. Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-68, December.
  4. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2009. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk-Taking?," NBER Working Papers 14813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 1999. "A Preference Regime Model of Bull and Bear Markets," Cahiers de recherche 9906, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  6. Thierry Post & Martijn J. van den Assem & Guido Baltussen & Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Deal or No Deal? Decision Making under Risk in a Large-Payoff Game Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 38-71, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Uzi Segal, 1989. "Two-Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom," UCLA Economics Working Papers 552, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Bellemare, Charles & Krause, Michaela & Kroger, Sabine & Zhang, Chendi, 2005. "Myopic loss aversion: Information feedback vs. investment flexibility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 319-324, June.
  10. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Shiri Artstein-Avidan & David Dillenberger, 2010. "Dynamic Disappointment Aversion: Don't Tell Me Anything Until You Know For Sure," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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