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Higher Order Risk Attitudes, Demographics, and Financial Decisions

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  • Noussair, C.N.
  • Trautmann, S.T.
  • Kuilen, G. van de

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We conduct an experiment to study the prevalence of the higher order risk attitudes of prudence and temperance, in a large demographically representative sample, as well as in a sample of undergraduate students. Participants make pairwise choices between lotteries of the form proposed by Eeckhoudt and Schlesinger (2006). The choices in these lotteries isolate prudent from imprudent, and temperate from intemperate, behavior. We relate individuals’ risk aversion, prudence, and temperance levels to demographics and financial decisions. We observe that the majority of individuals’ decisions are consistent with risk aversion, prudence, and temperance, in both the student and the demographically representative sample. An individual’s level of prudence is predictive of his wealth, saving, and borrowing behavior outside of the experiment, while temperance predicts the riskiness of portfolio choices. Our findings suggest that the coefficient of relative prudence for a representative individual is approximately equal to two.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2011-055.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2011055

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

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Keywords: prudence; temperance; saving; portfolio choice; experiment;

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References

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  1. Cary Deck & Harris Schlesinger, 2010. "Exploring Higher Order Risk Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1403-1420.
  2. Giucca, P. & Jappelli, T. & Terlizzese, D., 1992. "Earning Uncertainty and Precautionary Saving," Papers 161, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  3. Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von & van Soest, Arthur & Wengström, Erik, 2009. "Heterogeneity in Risky Choice Behaviour in a Broad Population," IZA Discussion Papers 4022, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Louis Eeckhoudt & Harris Schlesinger, 2005. "Putting Risk in its Proper Place," CESifo Working Paper Series 1462, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. BLEICHRODT, Han & CRAINICH, David & EECKHOUDT, Louis, . "The effect of comorbidities on treatment decisions," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1668, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  7. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Etner, Johanna & Schroyen, Fred, 2009. "The values of relative risk aversion and prudence: A context-free interpretation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-7, July.
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  9. Alm, James, 1988. "Uncertain Tax Policies, Individual Behavior, and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 237-45, March.
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  11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Armantier, Olivier & Treich, Nicolas, 2010. "Eliciting Beliefs: Proper Scoring Rules, Incentives, Stakes and Hedging," TSE Working Papers 10-213, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  2. Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Truong, Nghi & Martinsson, Peter & Pham Khanh Nam & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Risk preferences and development revisited: A field experiment in Vietnam," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2013-403, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Martin Kaae Jensen, 2012. "Distributional Comparative Statics," Discussion Papers 12-08, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  4. Cary Deck & Harris Schlesinger, 2012. "Consistency of Higher Order Risk Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 4047, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Kocher, Martin & Pahlke, Julius & Trautmann, Stefan, 2013. "An Experimental Study of Precautionary Bidding," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79690, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Lefebvre, Mathieu & Bouchouicha, Ranoua & Chmura, Thorsten & Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Krawczyk, Michal & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Common components of risk and uncertainty attitudes across contexts and domains: Evidence from 30 countries," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2013-402, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  7. Kangoh Lee, 2012. "Uncertain indemnity and the demand for insurance," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 249-265, August.
  8. Luigi Guiso & Paolo Sodini, 2012. "Household Finance. An Emerging Field," EIEF Working Papers Series 1204, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Mar 2012.
  9. Sebastian Ebert, 2013. "Moment characterization of higher-order risk preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 267-284, February.
  10. Noussair, C.N. & Trautmann, S.T. & Kuilen, G. van de & Vellekoop, N., 2012. "Risk Aversion and Religion," Discussion Paper 2012-073, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Mayrhofer, Thomas & Krieger, Miriam, 2012. "Patient Preferences and Treatment Thresholds under Diagnostic Risk: An Economic Laboratory Experiment," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62033, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  12. Friedman, Daniel & Isaac, R. Mark & James, Duncan & Sunder, Shyam, 2014. "Risky Curves: On the Empirical Failure of Expected Utility," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt87v8k86z, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  13. Gola Carlo & Ilari Antonio, 2013. "Financial innovation oversight: a policy framework," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 200, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  14. Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Chmura, Thorsten & Martinsson, Peter, 2012. "Risk attitudes, development, and growth: Macroeconomic evidence from experiments in 30 countries," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2012-401, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  15. Stefan Felder & Thomas Mayrhofer, 2011. "Higher-Order Risk Preferences – Consequences for Test and Treatment Thresholds and Optimal Cutoffs," Ruhr Economic Papers 0287, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  16. David Crainich & Louis Eeckhoudt & Alain Trannoy, 2011. "Even (mixed) risk lovers are prudent," Working Papers 2011-ECO-05, IESEG School of Management.
  17. Christoph Heinzel, 2014. "Term structure of discount rates under multivariate s-ordered consumption growth," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 14-01, INRA UMR SMART.

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