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Behavioral Biases and Firm Behavior: Evidence from Kenyan Retail Shops

Listed author(s):
  • Michael Kremer
  • Jean Lee
  • Jonathan Robinson
  • Olga Rostapshova

Many subjects in lab experiments exhibit small-stakes risk aversion, consistent with loss aversion. Those with greater math skills are less likely to show small-stakes risk aversion. We argue that departures from expected utility maximization may help explain why many firms in developing countries leave high expected return investments unexploited. We show that among a sample of Kenyan shopkeepers, inventories are negatively associated with small-stakes risk aversion and positively associated with math skills.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.103.3.362
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/may2013/P2013_4368_ds.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 362-368

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:362-68
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.362
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  1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-2390, October.
  2. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
  3. Dean Karlan & Robert Osei & Isaac Osei-Akoto & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 597-652.
  4. Shawn Cole & Xavier Giné & James Vickery, 2017. "How Does Risk Management Influence Production Decisions? Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(6), pages 1935-1970.
  5. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Returns to Capital and Access to Finance in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 457-482, November.
  6. Richard H. Thaler & Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman & Alan Schwartz, 1997. "The Effect of Myopia and Loss Aversion on Risk Taking: An Experimental Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 647-661.
  7. A. Mushfiq Mobarak & Mark Rosenzweig, 2012. "Selling Formal Insurance to the Informally Insured," Working Papers id:4777, eSocialSciences.
  8. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
  9. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 423-423.
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