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Who Really Wants to be a Millionaire? Estimates of Risk Aversion from Gameshow Data

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Author Info

  • Gauthier Lanot

    ()
    (Keele University, Centre for Economic Research and School of Economic and Management Studies)

  • Roger Hartley

    (Department of Economics, University of Manchester)

  • Ian Walker

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.)

Abstract

This paper analyses the behaviour of TV gameshow contestants to estimate risk aversion. We are able to show that the gameshow participants are broadly representative of the population as a whole. The gameshow has a number of features that makes it well suited for our analysis: the format is extremely straightforward, it involves no strategic decision-making, we have a large number of observations, and the prizes are cash and paid immediately, and cover a large range - from £100 up to £1 million. Even though the CRRA model is extremely restrictive we find that a coefficient or relative risk aversion which is close to unity fits the data across a wide range of wealth remarkably well.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Research, Keele University in its series Keele Economics Research Papers with number KERP 2006/07.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kee:kerpuk:2006/07

Note: We are grateful to Celador PLC, the gameshow's creator and the UK production company, for their help with gathering the data, and their permission to use it. We are particularly grateful to Ruth Settle who provided detailed advice that helped our understanding of the game. The research was supported by grant R000239740 from the Economic and Social Research Council. However, the views expressed herein are those of the authors alone. The data used in the analysis, and the GAUSS programs developed to conduct the estimation, can be obtained from g.lanot@econ.keele.ac.uk.
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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Keele, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG - United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1782 584581
Fax: +44 (0)1782 717577
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Web page: http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/ec/cer/
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Postal: Centre for Economic Research, Research Institute for Public Policy and Management, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG - United Kingdom
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Keywords: Risk aversion; gameshow;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2011. "Double or Nothing!? Small Groups Making Decisions Under Risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Ruhr Economic Papers 0278, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Hannsgen, Greg, 2008. "The welfare economics of macroeconomics and chooser-dependent, non-expected utility preferences: A Senian critique with an application to the costs of the business cycle," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1980-1993, October.
  3. Driouchi, Ahmed & Kadiri, Molk, 2010. "Emigration of Skilled Labor under Risk Aversion: The Case of Medical Doctors from Middle Eastern and North African Economies," MPRA Paper 22810, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 May 2010.
  4. Layard, R. & Mayraz, G. & Nickell, S., 2008. "The marginal utility of income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1846-1857, August.
  5. Lukkezen, Jasper & Teulings, Coen N, 2013. "Optimal fiscal policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 9473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Michele Belot, & V. Bhaskar & Jeroen van de Ven, 2006. "A Public Dilemma: Cooperation with Large Stakes and a Large Audience," Economics Discussion Papers 617, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  7. Maxwell, Andrew L. & Jeffrey, Scott A. & Lévesque, Moren, 2011. "Business angel early stage decision making," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 212-225, March.
  8. Jungmin Lee & Cary Deck & Javier Reyes & Chris Rosen, 2008. "Measuring Risk Attitudes Controlling for Personality Traits," Working Papers 0801, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  9. Greg Hannsgen, 2007. "Are the Costs of the Business Cycle 'Trivially Small'?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_492, Levy Economics Institute.
  10. Bliss, Richard T. & Potter, Mark E. & Schwarz, Christopher, 2012. "Decision making and risk aversion in the Cash Cab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 163-173.

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