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The Role of Intuition and Reasoning in Driving Aversion to Risk and Ambiguity

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Abstract

Using a large sample of retail investors as well as experimental data we find that risk and ambiguity aversion are positively correlated. We provide evidence that a common link is decision mode: intuitive thinkers tolerate more risk and ambiguity than effortful reasoners. One interpretation is that intuitive thinking confers an advantage in risky or ambiguous situations. We present supporting lab and field evidence that intuitive thinkers outperform others in uncertain environments. Finally, we find that risk and ambiguity aversion vary with individual characteristics and wealth. The wealthy are less risk averse but more ambiguity averse, which has implications for financial puzzles.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 282.

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Date of creation: 05 Apr 2011
Date of revision: 15 Jan 2013
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:282

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Keywords: Risk Aversion; Risk Ambiguity; Decision Theory; Dual Systems; Intuitive Thinking;

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References

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  1. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  2. Halevy, Yoram, 2005. "Ellsberg Revisited: an Experimental Study," Microeconomics.ca working papers halevy-05-07-26-11-51-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
  3. Alvarez, Fernando E & Guiso, Luigi & Lippi, Francesco, 2010. "Durable consumption and asset management with transaction and observation costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 7702, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
  5. Michèle Cohen & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2011. "An experimental investigation of imprecision attitude and its relation with risk attitude and impatience," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 81-109, July.
  6. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe, 2009. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  7. David Ahn & Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2008. "Estimating Ambiguity Aversion in a Portfolio Choice Experiment," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001989, David K. Levine.
  8. Gaudecker, H.M. von & Soest, A.H.O. van & Wengstrom, E., 2011. "Heterogeneity in risky choice behavior in a broad population," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3857699, Tilburg University.
  9. Sujoy Chakravarty & Jaideep Roy, 2009. "Recursive expected utility and the separation of attitudes towards risk and ambiguity: an experimental study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 66(3), pages 199-228, March.
  10. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2010. "Ambiguity and Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 16181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  12. Donkers, A.C.D. & Melenberg, B. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1999. "Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries; A Large Sample Approach," Discussion Paper 1999-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  13. Syngjoo Choi & Raymond Fisman & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2007. "Consistency and Heterogeneity of Individual Behavior under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1921-1938, December.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The Role of Intuition and Reasoning in Driving Aversion to Risk and Ambiguity
    by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2011-04-18 02:00:42
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Cited by:
  1. Guiso, Luigi, 2009. "A test of narrow framing and its origin," CEPR Discussion Papers 7112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Luigi Guiso & Paolo Sodini, 2012. "Household Finance. An Emerging Field," EIEF Working Papers Series 1204, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Mar 2012.
  3. Jeffrey V. Butler & Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2013. "Manipulating Reliance on Intuition Reduces Risk and Ambiguity Aversion," EIEF Working Papers Series 1301, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jan 2013.
  4. Michèle Cohen & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2009. "An experimental investigation of imprecision attitude and its relation with risk attitude and impatience," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00389674, HAL.
  5. Oechssler, Jörg & Roomets, Alex, 2014. "A Test of Mechanical Ambiguity," Working Papers 0555, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  6. Michalis Drouvelis & Julian C. Jamison, 2012. "Selecting public goods institutions: who likes to punish and reward?," Working Papers 12-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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