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Experts in Experiments: How Selection Matters for Estimated Distributions of Risk Preferences

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Author Info

  • Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von

    ()
    (University of Bonn)

  • van Soest, Arthur

    ()
    (Tilburg University)

  • Wengström, Erik

    ()
    (University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

An ever increasing number of experiments attempts to elicit risk preferences of a population of interest with the aim of calibrating parameters used in economic models. We are concerned with two types of selection effects, which may affect the external validity of standard experiments: Sampling from a narrowly defined population of students ("experimenter-induced selection") and self-selection of participants into the experiment. We find that both types of selection lead to a sample of experts: Participants perform significantly better than the general population, in the sense of fewer violations of revealed preference conditions. Self-selection within a broad population does not seem to matter for average preferences. In contrast, sampling from a student population leads to lower estimates of average risk aversion and loss aversion parameters. Furthermore, it dramatically reduces the amount of heterogeneity in all parameters.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5575.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5575

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Related research

Keywords: internet surveys; loss aversion; risk aversion; laboratory experiments;

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References

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  1. Nicolas de Roos & Yianis Sarafidis, 2010. "Decision making under risk in Deal or No Deal," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 987-1027.
  2. von Gaudecker, Martin & van Soest, Arthur & Wengström, Erik, 2008. "Selection and Mode Effects in Risk Preference Elicitation Experiments," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-46, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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Cited by:
  1. D Nosenzo & Jon Anderson & Stephen V Burks & Jeffrey Carpenter & Lorenz Gotte & Karsten Maurer & Ruth Potter & Kim Rocha & Aldo Rustichini, 2012. "Self-Selection and Variations in the Laboratory Measurment of Other-Regarding Preferences Across Subject Pools: Evidence from One College Student and Two Adult Samples," Discussion Papers 2012-14, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  2. Ola Andersson & Håkan J. Holm & Jean-Robert Tyran & Erik Wengström, 2013. "Risk aversion relates to cognitive ability: Fact or Fiction?," Discussion Papers 13-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Booth, Alison & Cardona-Sosa, Lina & Nolen, Patrick, 2014. "Gender differences in risk aversion: Do single-sex environments affect their development?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 126-154.
  4. Ola Andersson & Håkan J. Holm & Jean-Robert Tyran & Erik Wengström, 2013. "Deciding for Others Reduces Loss Aversion," Discussion Papers 13-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  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. Golsteyn, Bart & Grönqvist, Hans & Lindahl, Lena, 2013. "Time preferences and lifetime outcomes," Working Paper Series 2013:22, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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