Sharing or gambling? On risk attitudes in social contexts
AbstractThis paper investigates experimentally whether risk attitudes are stable across social contexts. In particular, it focuses on situations where some resource (for instance, a position, decision power, a bonus) has to be allocated between two parties: the decision maker can either opt for sharing the resource or for using a random device that allocates the entire prize to one of the two parties. By varying the relative situation of the decision maker with respect to the other party, we show that risk attitude is strongly affected by social contexts: participants in the experiment seem to be relatively risk seeking when they possess a relatively weaker position than the other party and risk averse when the opposite is true. Our main average results seem to be driven by the behavior of around a quarter of subjects whose choices appear to be fully determined by social comparisons. Various interpretations of the behavior are provided linking our results to preferences under risk with a social reference point and on status-seeking preferences.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 17383.
Date of creation: 24 Oct 2013
Date of revision:
risk attitudes; risk preferences in social context; social reference point; status-seeking preferences; social preferences under risk;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- C65 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Miscellaneous Mathematical Tools
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-11-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2013-11-16 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2013-11-16 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2013-11-16 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-UPT-2013-11-16 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rabin, Matthew, 1993.
"Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
- Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
- M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
- Gary E. Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2000.
"Fair Procedures. Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
483.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Gary E Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2005. "Fair Procedures: Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1054-1076, October.
- Noam Yuchtman & Florian Ederer & Bruno Ferman & Leonardo Bursztyn, 2013.
"Understanding Peer Effects in Financial Decisions: Evidence from a Field Experiment,"
2013 Meeting Papers
222, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Leonardo Bursztyn & Florian Ederer & Bruno Ferman & Noam Yuchtman, 2012. "Understanding Peer Effects in Financial Decisions: Evidence from a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 18241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-68, December.
- Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003.
"Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests,"
General Economics and Teaching
- Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
- Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
- Enrico Diecidue & Jeroen van de Ven, 2008. "Aspiration Level, Probability Of Success And Failure, And Expected Utility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 683-700, 05.
- Amrei M. Lahno & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2012.
"Peer Effects in Risk Taking,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
4057, CESifo Group Munich.
- Brennan, Geoffrey & González, Luis G. & Güth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria, 2008.
"Attitudes toward private and collective risk in individual and strategic choice situations,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 253-262, July.
- Geoffrey Brennan & Werner Güth & Luis G. Gonzalez & M. Vittoria Levati, 2005. "Attitudes toward Private and Collective Risks in Individual and Strategic Choice Situations," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-22, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Michal Krawczyk & Fabrice Le Lec, 2010. "‘Give me a chance!’ An experiment in social decision under risk," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 500-511, December.
- Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
- James G. March & Zur Shapira, 1987. "Managerial Perspectives on Risk and Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(11), pages 1404-1418, November.
- Trautmann, Stefan T. & Wakker, Peter P., 2010. "Process fairness and dynamic consistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 187-189, December.
- Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "A tractable model of process fairness under risk," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 803-813, October.
- Robert H. Frank, 2005. "Positional Externalities Cause Large and Preventable Welfare Losses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 137-141, May.
- Thomas Lemieux & W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 2009. "Performance Pay and Wage Inequality-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-49, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alexandra Frank).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.