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Living with risk

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Abstract

Living with risk can lead to anticipatory feelings such as anxiety or hopefulness. Such feelings can a¤ect the choice between lotteries that will be played out in the future - choice may be motivated not only by the (static) risks involved but also by the desire to reduce anxiety or to promote savoring. This paper provides a model of preference in a three-period setting that is axiomatic and includes a role for anticipatory feelings. It is shown that the model of preference can accommodate intuitive patterns of demand for information such as information seeking when a favorable outcome is very likely and information aversion when it is more likely that the outcome will be unfavorable. Behavioral meaning is given to statements such as "individual 1 is anxious" and "2 is more anxious than 1". Finally, the model is di¤erentiated sharply from the classic model due to Kreps and Porteus.

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File URL: http://rcer.econ.rochester.edu/RCERPAPERS/rcer_534.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) in its series RCER Working Papers with number 534.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:534

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Postal: University of Rochester, Center for Economic Research, Department of Economics, Harkness 231 Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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Keywords: risk; anxiety; savoring; anticipatory feelings; demand for commitment; demand for information; temporal resolution of risk; temptation;

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References

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  1. Hong, Chew Soo & Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. "Risk aversion in the theory of expected utility with rank dependent probabilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 370-381, August.
  2. Uzi Segal, 1989. "Two-Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom," UCLA Economics Working Papers 552, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  4. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  5. Peleg, Bezalel & Yaari, Menahem E, 1973. "On the Existence of a Consistent Course of Action when Tastes are Changing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 391-401, July.
  6. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  7. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Can anticipatory feelings explain anomalous choices of information sources?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 87-104, July.
  8. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  9. Tversky, Amos & Wakker, Peter, 1995. "Risk Attitudes and Decision Weights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1255-80, November.
  10. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2004. "The supply of information by a concerned expert," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 487-505, 07.
  11. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory And Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Larry Epstein & Emmanuel Farhi & Tomasz Stralezcki, . "How Much Would You Pay To Resolve Long-Run Risk?," Working Paper 136671, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  2. Thomas M. Eisenbach & Martin C. Schmalz, 2013. "Up close it feels dangerous: 'anxiety' in the face of risk," Staff Reports 610, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman, 2009. "How (Not) to Do Decision Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000339, David K. Levine.
  4. Haluk Ergin & Todd Sarver, 2012. "Hidden Actions and Preferences for Timing of Resolution of Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 1567, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. André Lapied & Thomas Rongiconi, 2013. "Ambiguity as a Source of Temptation: Modeling Unstable Beliefs," Working Papers halshs-00797631, HAL.
  6. Larry G. Epstein & Emmanuel Farhi & Tomasz Strzaleck, 2013. "How Much Would You Pay to Resolve Long-Run Risk?," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2013-002, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  7. Dag Sommervoll, 2013. "Sweet self-deception," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 73-88, May.
  8. Todd Sarver, 2012. "Optimal Reference Points and Anticipation," Discussion Papers 1566, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.

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