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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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  1. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
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  14. TREICH Nicolas, 2009. "Risk-aversion and Prudence in Rent-seeking Games," LERNA Working Papers 09.05.281, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  15. Cary Deck & Harris Schlesinger, 2008. "Exploring Higher-Order Risk Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 2487, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Louis Eeckhoudt & Harris Schlesinger, 2005. "Putting Risk in its Proper Place," CESifo Working Paper Series 1462, CESifo Group Munich.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Martin Kaae Jensen, 2012. "Distributional Comparative Statics," Discussion Papers 12-08, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Armantier, Olivier & Treich, Nicolas, 2010. "Eliciting Beliefs: Proper Scoring Rules, Incentives, Stakes and Hedging," TSE Working Papers 10-213, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  6. David Crainich & Louis Eeckhoudt & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Even (Mixed) Risk Lovers Are Prudent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1529-35, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Charles Noussair & Stefan Trautmann & Gijs Kuilen & Nathanael Vellekoop, 2013. "Risk aversion and religion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 165-183, October.
  9. 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).
  10. 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).
  11. 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.
  12. Cary Deck & Harris Schlesinger, 2012. "Consistency of Higher Order Risk Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 4047, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Kangoh Lee, 2012. "Uncertain indemnity and the demand for insurance," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 249-265, August.
  14. 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.
  15. Christoph Heinzel, 2014. "Term structure of discount rates under multivariate s-ordered consumption growth," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 14-01, INRA UMR SMART.
  16. 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.
  17. Sebastian Ebert, 2013. "Moment characterization of higher-order risk preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 267-284, February.

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