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Choices under Risk in Rural Peru

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  • Galarza, Francisco

Abstract

This paper estimates the risk preferences of cotton farmers in Southern Peru, using the results from a multiple-price-list lottery game. Assuming that preferences conform to two of the leading models of decision under risk--Expected Utility Theory (EUT) and Cumulative Prospect Theory (CPT)--there is strong evidence of moderate risk aversion. Once we include individual characteristics in the estimation of risk parameters, we observe that farmers use subjective nonlinear probability weighting, a behavior consistent with CPT. Interestingly, when we allow for preference heterogeneity via the estimation of mixture models--where the proportion of subjects who behave according to EUT or to CPT is endogenously determined--we see that the majority of farmers’ choices are best explained by CPT. We further hypothesize that the multiple switching behavior observed in our sample can be explained by nonlinear probability weighting made in a context of large random calculation mistakes; the evidence found on this regard is mixed. Finally, we find that attaining higher education is the single most important individual characteristic correlated with risk preferences, a result that suggests a connection between cognitive abilities and behavior towards risk.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17708.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17708

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Keywords: risk aversion; probability weighting; mixture models; experimental economics; Peru;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kerri Brick & Martine Visser & Justine Burns, 2011. "Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence from South African Fishing Communities," Working Papers 227, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  2. Norbert Hirschauer & Oliver Musshoff & Syster C. Maart-Noelck & Sven Gruener, 2014. "Eliciting risk attitudes -- how to avoid mean and variance bias in Holt-and-Laury lotteries," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 35-38, January.
  3. Galarza, Francisco, 2009. "Risk, Credit, and Insurance in Peru: Field Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 17833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Joseph Cook & Susmita Chatterjee & Dipika Sur & Dale Whittington, 2013. "Measuring risk aversion among the urban poor in Kolkata, India," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 1-9, January.
  5. Lybbert, Travis J. & Galarza, Francisco B. & McPeak, John G. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Boucher, Stephen R. & Carter, Michael R. & Chantarat, Sommarat & Fadlaoui, Aziz & Mude, Andrew G., 2010. "Dynamic Field Experiments in Development Economics: Risk Valuation in Morocco, Kenya, and Peru," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 39(2), April.
  6. Charness, Gary & Viceisza, Angelino, 2012. "Comprehension and Risk Elicitation in the Field: Evidence from Rural Senegal," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt5512d150, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  7. Galarza, Francisco B. & Carter, Michael R., 2010. "Risk Preferences and Demand for Insurance in Peru: A Field Experiment," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61871, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Ihli, Hanna Julia & Chiputwa, Brian & Musshoff, Oliver, 2013. "Do Changing Probabilities or Payoffs in Lottery-Choice Experiments Matter? Evidence from Rural Uganda," Discussion Papers 158146, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
  9. Bocqueho, Geraldine & Jacquet, Florence & Reynaud, Arnaud, 2011. "Expected Utility or Prospect Theory Maximizers? Results from a Structural Model based on Field-experiment Data," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114257, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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