IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v99y2009i4p1508-43.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Narrow Bracketing and Dominated Choices

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Rabin
  • Georg Weizsacker

Abstract

We show that any decision maker who "narrowly brackets" (evaluates decisions separately) and does not have constant-absolute-risk-averse preferences will make a first-order stochastically dominated combined choice in some simple pair of independent binary decisions. We also characterize the preference-contingent monetary cost from this mistake. Empirically, in a real-stakes laboratory experiment that replicates Tversky and Kahneman's (1981) experiment, 28 percent of participants choose dominated combinations. In a representative survey eliciting hypothetical large-stakes choices, higher proportions do so. Violation rates vary little with personal characteristics. Average preferences are prospect-theoretic, with an estimated 89 percent of people bracketing narrowly. (JEL D12, D81)

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Rabin & Georg Weizsacker, 2009. "Narrow Bracketing and Dominated Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1508-1543, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:4:p:1508-43
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.4.1508
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.4.1508
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/sept09/20071131_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/sept09/20071131_app.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2010. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1238-1260, June.
    2. Enrico Diecidue & Ulrich Schmidt & Peter P. Wakker, 2004. "The Utility of Gambling Reconsidered," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 241-259, December.
    3. Ariel Rubinstein, 2006. "Dilemmas of an Economic Theorist," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 865-883, July.
    4. Uri Gneezy & Jan Potters, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 112(2), pages 631-645.
    5. Bowman, David & Minehart, Deborah & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Loss aversion in a consumption-savings model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 155-178, February.
    6. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
    7. Cox, James C. & Sadiraj, Vjollca, 2006. "Small- and large-stakes risk aversion: Implications of concavity calibration for decision theory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 45-60, July.
    8. Zvi Safra & Uzi Segal, 2008. "Calibration Results for Non-Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(5), pages 1143-1166, September.
    9. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    10. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
    11. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    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. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2013. "Who Is ‘Behavioral’? Cognitive Ability And Anomalous Preferences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1231-1255, December.
    14. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Richard H. Thaler, 2006. "Individual Preferences, Monetary Gambles, and Stock Market Participation: A Case for Narrow Framing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1069-1090, September.
    15. Diecidue, Enrico & Wakker, Peter P., 2002. "Dutch books: avoiding strategic and dynamic complications, and a comonotonic extension," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 135-149, March.
    16. Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2013. "Anomalies: Risk aversion," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Leonard C MacLean & William T Ziemba (ed.), HANDBOOK OF THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DECISION MAKING Part I, chapter 27, pages 467-480, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    17. Abdellaoui, Mohammed & Barrios, Carolina & Wakker, Peter P., 2007. "Reconciling introspective utility with revealed preference: Experimental arguments based on prospect theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 356-378, May.
    18. David E. Bell, 1985. "Disappointment in Decision Making Under Uncertainty," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 33(1), pages 1-27, February.
    19. Camerer, Colin F, 1989. "An Experimental Test of Several Generalized Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 61-104, April.
    20. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. "Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
    21. Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-197, December.
    22. 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.
    23. Graham Loomes & Robert Sugden, 1986. "Disappointment and Dynamic Consistency in Choice under Uncertainty," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 53(2), pages 271-282.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Luigi Guiso, 2015. "A Test of Narrow Framing and its Origin," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 1(1), pages 61-100, March.
    2. Jonathan Chapman & Erik Snowberg & Stephanie Wang & Colin Camerer, 2022. "Looming Large or Seeming Small? Attitudes Towards Losses in a Representative Sample," CESifo Working Paper Series 9820, CESifo.
    3. Xiaosheng Mu & Luciano Pomatto & Philipp Strack & Omer Tamuz, 2020. "Background risk and small-stakes risk aversion," Papers 2010.08033, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2021.
    4. Booij, Adam S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A parameter-free analysis of the utility of money for the general population under prospect theory," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 651-666, August.
    5. Simon Gächter & Eric J. Johnson & Andreas Herrmann, 2022. "Individual-level loss aversion in riskless and risky choices," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 599-624, April.
    6. Han Bleichrodt & Jason N. Doctor & Yu Gao & Chen Li & Daniella Meeker & Peter P. Wakker, 2019. "Resolving Rabin’s paradox," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 59(3), pages 239-260, December.
    7. van der Heijden, Eline & Klein, Tobias J. & Müller, Wieland & Potters, Jan, 2012. "Framing effects and impatience: Evidence from a large scale experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 701-711.
    8. Horst Zank, 2010. "On probabilities and loss aversion," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 243-261, March.
    9. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang, 2006. "The Loss Aversion / Narrow Framing Approach to the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 12378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Peter Brooks & Horst Zank, 2005. "Loss Averse Behavior," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 301-325, December.
    11. Johannes Abeler & Felix Marklein, 2017. "Fungibility, Labels, and Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 99-127.
    12. Alexander K. Koch & Julia Nafziger, 2019. "Correlates of Narrow Bracketing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(4), pages 1441-1472, October.
    13. Lucks, Konstantin, 2016. "The Impact of Self-Control on Investment Decisions," MPRA Paper 73099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Haug, Jørgen & Hens, Thorsten & Woehrmann, Peter, 2013. "Risk aversion in the large and in the small," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 310-313.
    15. Daniel Gottlieb & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2020. "Narrow Framing and Long‐Term Care Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 87(4), pages 861-893, December.
    16. Adam Booij & Bernard Praag & Gijs Kuilen, 2010. "A parametric analysis of prospect theory’s functionals for the general population," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 115-148, February.
    17. Hwang, In Do, 2024. "Behavioral aspects of household portfolio choice: Effects of loss aversion on life insurance uptake and savings," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 89(PA), pages 1029-1053.
    18. P Brooks & H Zank, 2004. "Attitudes on Gain and Loss Lotteries: A Simple Experiment," Economics Discussion Paper Series 0402, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    19. Thomas Epper & Helga Fehr-Duda, 2012. "The missing link: unifying risk taking and time discounting," ECON - Working Papers 096, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2018.
    20. Michał Lewandowski, 2017. "Prospect Theory Versus Expected Utility Theory: Assumptions, Predictions, Intuition and Modelling of Risk Attitudes," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, vol. 9(4), pages 275-321, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

    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:99:y:2009:i:4:p:1508-43. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

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

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.