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Risk Aversion Relates to Cognitive Ability: Fact or Fiction?

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  • Andersson, Ola

    ()
    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

    (University of Vienna)

  • Wengström, Erik

    (University of Copenhagen)

  • Holm, Håkan J.

    (Lund University)

Abstract

Recent experimental studies suggest that risk aversion is negatively related to cognitive ability. In this paper we report evidence that this relation might be spurious. We recruit a large subject pool drawn from the general Danish population for our experiment. By presenting subjects with choice tasks that vary the bias induced by random choices, we are able to generate both negative and positive correlations between risk aversion and cognitive ability. Structural estimation allowing for heterogeneity of noise yields no significant relation between risk aversion and cognitive ability. Our results suggest that cognitive ability is related to random decision making, rather than to risk preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 964.

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Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: 17 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0964

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Keywords: Risk preference; Cognitive ability; Experiment; Noise;

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Cited by:
  1. Jan-Erik Lönnqvist & Markku Verkasalo & Gari Walkowitz & Philipp Christoph Wichardt, 2014. "Measuring Individual Risk Attitudes in the Lab: Task or Ask? An Empirical Comparison," CESifo Working Paper Series 4663, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Andersson, Ola & Holm, Håkan J. & Tyran, Jean-Robert & Wengström, Erik, 2013. "Deciding for Others Reduces Loss Aversion," Working Paper Series 976, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Filippin, Antonio & Crosetto, Paolo, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 8184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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).
  5. Andersson, Ola & Holm, Håkan J. & Tyran, Jean-Robert & Wengström, Erik, 2013. "Risking Other People’s Money: Experimental Evidence on Bonus Schemes, Competition, and Altruism," Working Paper Series 989, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Adam Eric Greenberg, 2013. "When imagining future wealth influences risky decision making," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(3), pages 268-277, May.

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