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On a Simple Survey Measure of Individual Risk Aversion

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  • Joop Hartog

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Nicole Jonker

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

We ask individuals for their reservation price of a specified lotteryand deduce their Arrow-Pratt measure of risk aversion.This allows direct testing of common hypotheses on risk attitudes inthree datasets. We find that risk aversion indeed fallswith income and wealth. Entrepreneurs are less risk averse thanemployees, civil servants are more risk averse thanprivate sector employees, and women are more risk averse than men. Weanalyze six different specifications of the lotteryquestion in a single data set and find quite consistent results. Weconclude that a simple lottery question is a promisingsurvey instrument to extract differences in risk attitudes amongindividuals.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 00-074/3.

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Date of creation: 29 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20000074

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  1. Binswanger, Hans P, 1981. "Attitudes toward Risk: Theoretical Implications of an Experiment in Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 867-90, December.
  2. Donkers, Bas & Melenberg, Bertrand & Van Soest, Arthur, 2001. " Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries: A Large Sample Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 165-95, March.
  3. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-89, November.
  4. Bosma, N. & van Praag, M. & de Wit, G., 2000. "Determinants of Successful Entrepreneurship," Papers 0002/e, NEUHUYS - RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM.
  5. van de Stadt, Huib & Antonides, Gerrit & van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1984. "Empirical testing of the expected utility model," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 17-29, March.
  6. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
  8. Friedman,Daniel & Sunder,Shyam, 1994. "Experimental Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521456821, November.
  9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  10. Evans, Dorla A, 1997. "The Role of Markets in Reducing Expected Utility Violations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 622-36, June.
  11. Don Bellante & Albert N. Link, 1981. "Are public sector workers more risk averse than private sector workers?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(3), pages 408-412, April.
  12. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Hartley, Roger & Lanot, Gauthier & Walker, Ian, 2006. "Who really wants to be a millionaire? Estimates of risk aversion from gameshow data," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 747, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. André De Palma & Nathalie Picard, 2005. "Congestion on risky routes with risk adverse drivers," ERSA conference papers ersa05p423, European Regional Science Association.
  3. André de Palma & Nathalie Picard, 2004. "Route Choice behavior with risk averse users," THEMA Working Papers 2004-09, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  4. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor, 2007. "Predicting Health Behaviors with an Experimental Measure of Risk Preference," Working Papers 59, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  5. de Palma, André & Picard, Nathalie, 2005. "Route choice decision under travel time uncertainty," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 295-324, May.
  6. Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2010. "Rank-ordering of risk preferences with conventional and discrete measures," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 291-297, August.

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