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Do the eealthy risk more money? An experimental comparison

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Abstract

Are poor people more or less likely to take money risks than wealthy folks? We find that risk attraction is more prevalent among the wealthy when the amounts of money at risk are small (not surprising, since ten dollars is a smaller amount for a wealthy person than for a poor one), but, interestingly, for the larger amounts of money at risk the fraction of the nonwealthy displaying risk attraction exceeds that of the wealthy. We also replicate our previous finding that many people display risk attraction for small money amounts, but risk aversion for large ones. We argue that preferences yielding “risk attraction for small money amounts, together with risk aversion for larger amounts, at all levels of wealth,” while contradicting the expected utility hypothesis, may be well-defined, independently of reference points, on the choice space.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 692.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision: Jan 2005
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:692

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Risk attraction; risk aversion; wealth; experiments; Leex;

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Cited by:
  1. Antoni Bosch & Joaquim Silvestre, 2003. "Reflections on Gains and Losses: A 2?2? 7 Experiment," Working Papers 4, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2006. "Reflections on gains and losses: A 2 × 2 × 7 experiment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 217-235, December.
  3. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2012. "Measuring risk aversion with lists: A new bias," Working Papers 1210, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  4. Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2010. "Risk Attitudes and Well-being in Latin America," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 007718, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  5. Antoni Bosch-Dom�nech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2012. "Measuring Risk Aversion with Lists: A New Bias," Working Papers 634, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2005. "The gain-loss asymmetry and single-self preferences," Economics Working Papers 885, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2006. "Risk aversion and embedding bias," Economics Working Papers 934, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2002. "Reflections on gains and losses: A 2x2x7 experiment," Economics Working Papers 640, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2005.
  9. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2006. "Averting risk in the face of large losses: Bernoulli vs. Tversky and Kahneman," Economics Working Papers 932, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

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