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Does the exposure to natural hazards affect risk and time preferences? Some insights from a field experiment in Perú

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  • Mohamed Ali Bchir
  • Marc Willinger

Abstract

We report the results of an experiment on voluntary contributions to a public good in which we implement a redistribution of the group endowment among group members in a lump sum manner. We study the impact of redistribution on group contribution, on individuals’ contribu- tions according to their endowment and on welfare. Our experimental results show that welfare increases when equality is broken, as predicted by theory (Itaya, De Meza & Myles, 1997), because the larger contribution of the rich subjects overcompensates the lower contribution of the poor subjects. Last but not least, agents’ behavior in situations of inequality of income, depends on initial conditions. In particular, the decisions of those who become poor seem to express a form of protest against the new distribution of incomes compared to those who started out as poor: from a behavioral point of view, being poor is therefore not equivalent to becoming poor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier in its series Working Papers with number 13-04.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision: Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:13-04

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  1. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2003. "Risk Aversion, Wealth and Background Risk," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 483, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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  6. Cameron, Lisa A. & Shah, Manisha, 2012. "Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters," IZA Discussion Papers 6756, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. repec:feb:framed:0074 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Maarten J. Voors & Eleonora E. M. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin H. Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan P. Van Soest, 2012. "Violent Conflict and Behavior: A Field Experiment in Burundi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 941-64, April.
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  12. David H. Herberich & John A. List, 2012. "Digging into Background Risk: Experiments with Farmers and Students," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 457-463.
  13. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2002. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1606-1617, December.
  14. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. Jinkwon Lee, 2008. "The effect of the background risk in a simple chance improving decision model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 19-41, February.
  16. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
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