IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v92y2002i3p613-624.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Can Expected Utility Theory Explain Gambling?

Author

Listed:
  • Roger Hartley
  • Lisa Farrell

Abstract

We investigate the ability of expected utility theory to account for simultaneous gambling and insurance. Contrary to a previous claim that borrowing and lending in perfect capital markets removes the demand for gambles, we show expected utility theory with nonconcave utility functions can explain gambling. When the rates of interest and time preference are equal, agents seek to gamble unless income falls in a finite set of values. When they differ, there is a range of incomes where gambles are desired. Different borrowing and lending rates can account for persistent gambling provided the rates span the rate of time preference. (JEL D81, D91)

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Hartley & Lisa Farrell, 2002. "Can Expected Utility Theory Explain Gambling?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 613-624, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:3:p:613-624
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/00028280260136426
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/00028280260136426
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Young Chin Kim, 1973. "Choice in the Lottery-Insurance Situation Augmented-Income Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 148-156.
    2. Lisa Farrell & Roger Hartley, 2000. "Intertemporal Substitution and Gambling for Long-Lived Agents," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 2000/08, Department of Economics, Keele University.
    3. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279-279.
    4. Ng Yew Kwang, 1965. "Why do People Buy Lottery Tickets? Choices Involving Risk and the Indivisibility of Expenditure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 530-530.
    5. Dowell, Richard S & McLaren, Keith R, 1986. "An Intertemporal Analysis of the Interdependence between Risk Preference, Retirement, and Work Rate Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 667-682, June.
    6. Bailey, Martin J & Olson, Mancur & Wonnacott, Paul, 1980. "The Marginal Utility of Income Does not Increase: Borrowing, Lending, and Friedman-Savage Gambles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 372-379, June.
    7. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanie, 2000. "Estimating Preferences under Risk: The Case of Racetrack Bettors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 503-530, June.
    8. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    9. Quiggin, John, 1991. "On the Optimal Design of Lotteries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(229), pages 1-16, February.
    10. Dobbs, Ian M, 1988. "Risk Aversion, Gambling and the Labour-Leisure Choice," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 35(2), pages 171-175, May.
    11. Farrell, Lisa & Morgenroth, Edgar & Walker, Ian, 1999. " A Time Series Analysis of U.K. Lottery Sales: Long and Short Run Price Elasticities," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 513-526, November.
    12. Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-1668, December.
    13. Conlisk, John, 1993. "The Utility of Gambling," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 255-275, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Richard Barnett & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel, 2010. "Choosing to keep up with the Joneses and income inequality," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 45(3), pages 469-496, December.
    2. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2011. "The Economics of Lotteries: An Annotated Bibliography," Working Papers 1110, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:eee:ecmode:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:475-483 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Raj Chetty, 2004. "Consumption Commitments, Unemployment Durations, and Local Risk Aversion," NBER Working Papers 10211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ephraim Clark & Zhuo Qiao & Wing-Keung Wong, 2016. "Theories Of Risk: Testing Investor Behavior On The Taiwan Stock And Stock Index Futures Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 907-924, April.
    6. Barnett, Richard C. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Bunzel, Helle, 2008. "Are the Joneses Making You Financially Vulnerable?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12909, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Atalay, Kadir & Bakhtiar, Fayzan & Cheung, Stephen & Slonim, Robert, 2014. "Savings and prize-linked savings accounts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 86-106.
    8. Nyman, John A. & Welte, John W. & Dowd, Bryan E., 2008. "Something for nothing: A model of gambling behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2492-2504, December.
    9. Il-Horn Hann & Kai-Lung Hui & Tom S. Lee & I.P.L. Png, 2003. "The Value of Online Information Privacy: An Empirical Investigation," Industrial Organization 0304001, EconWPA, revised 01 Apr 2003.
    10. Douglas L. Miller & Anna L. Paulson, 2007. "Risk taking and the quality of informal insurance: gambling and remittances in Thailand," Working Paper Series WP-07-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    11. Fong, Wai Mun & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Wong, Wing Keung, 2008. "Stochastic dominance and behavior towards risk: The market for Internet stocks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 194-208, October.
    12. Lam, Kin & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Wong, Wing-Keung, 2016. "Stochastic Dominance and Investors’ Behavior towards Risk: The Hong Kong Stocks and Futures Markets," MPRA Paper 74386, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. repec:eee:mateco:v:71:y:2017:i:c:p:20-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Chan, Raymond H. & Clark, Ephraim & Wong, Wing-Keung, 2016. "On the Third Order Stochastic Dominance for Risk-Averse and Risk-Seeking Investors with Analysis of their Traditional and Internet Stocks," MPRA Paper 75002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Chen, Shu-Heng & Chie, Bin-Tzong, 2008. "Lottery markets design, micro-structure, and macro-behavior: An ACE approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 463-480, August.
    16. Crossley, Thomas F. & Low, Hamish & Smith, Sarah, 2016. "Do consumers gamble to convexify?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 276-291.
    17. Raj Chetty & Adam Szeidl, 2007. "Consumption Commitments and Risk Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 831-877.
    18. N. Bhattacharya & T. A. Garrett, 2008. "Why people choose negative expected return assets - an empirical examination of a utility theoretic explanation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 27-34.
    19. Barnett, Richard & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Bunzel, Helle, 2016. "Do the Joneses make you financially vulnerable?," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2016-11, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:3:p:613-624. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.