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Selection and Mode Effects in Risk Preference Elicitation Experiments

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Author Info

  • Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von

    ()
    (University of Bonn)

  • van Soest, Arthur

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

  • Wengström, Erik

    ()
    (University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We combine data from a risk preference elicitation experiment conducted on a representative sample via the Internet with laboratory data on students for the same experiment to investigate effects of implementation mode and of subject pool selection. We find that the frequency of errors in the lab experiment is drastically below that of the representative sample in the Internet experiment, and average risk aversion is also lower. Considering the student-like subsample of the Internet subjects and comparing a traditional lab design with an Internet-like design in the lab gives two ways to decompose these differences into differences due to subject pool selection and differences due to implementation mode. Both lead to the conclusion that the differences are due to selection and not implementation mode. An analysis of the various steps leading to participation or non-participation in the Internet survey leads shows that these processes are selective in selecting subjects who make fewer errors, but do not lead to biased conclusions on risk preferences. These findings point at the usefulness of the Internet survey as an alternative to a student pool in the laboratory if the ambition is to use the experiments to draw inference on a broad population.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3321.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3321

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Keywords: internet surveys; laboratory experiments; risk aversion;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Booij, Adam S. & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A Parametric Analysis of Prospect Theory's Functionals for the General Population," IZA Discussion Papers 4117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Hans-Martin Gaudecker & Arthur Soest & Erik Wengström, 2012. "Experts in experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 159-190, October.
  3. Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von & van Soest, Arthur & Wengström, Erik, 2011. "Experts in Experiments: How Selection Matters for Estimated Distributions of Risk Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 5575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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).
  5. Booij, Adam S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A parameter-free analysis of the utility of money for the general population under prospect theory," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 651-666, August.
  6. Chew, Soo Hong & Ebstein, Richard P. & Zhong, Songfa, 2013. "Sex-hormone genes and gender difference in ultimatum game: Experimental evidence from China and Israel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 28-42.
  7. Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor, 2009. "Are risk preferences stable? Comparing an experimental measure with a validated survey-based measure," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 137-160, October.
  8. Stefan Zeisberger & Dennis Vrecko & Thomas Langer, 2012. "Measuring the time stability of Prospect Theory preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 359-386, March.

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