The shape of the utility function under risk in the loss domain and the "ruinous losses" hypothesis: some experimental results
This paper reports some preliminary experimental results as regards the shape of the utility function for losses when elicited over a wide interval of consequences. Individual utility functions are elicited using the trade-off method, which, unlike standard elicitation procedures, is robust to probability weighting (and avoids most cognitive biases). Even though most utility functions exhibit the usual convex shape, nearly 25% of them appear to be inverse-S shaped, with convexity over moderate losses changing to concavity as losses grow. Though not conclusive (due mainly to the small size of our subject pool), this result brings some new support to the old idea that ruinous or unacceptable losses may induce some abrupt change in the shape of the utility function. Most importantly, it paves the way for more systematic investigation of the "ruinous losses" hypothesis.
Volume (Year): 29 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nathalie Etchart-Vincent, 2009.
"Probability weighting and the ‘level’ and ‘spacing’ of outcomes: An experimental study over losses,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 45-63, August.
- Nathalie Etchart-Vincent, 2009. "Probability weighting and the 'level' and 'spacing' of outcomes: An experimental study over losses," Post-Print hal-00395876, HAL.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mohammed Abdellaoui & Frank Vossmann & Martin Weber, 2005.
"Choice-Based Elicitation and Decomposition of Decision Weights for Gains and Losses Under Uncertainty,"
INFORMS, vol. 51(9), pages 1384-1399, September.
- Abdellaoui, Mohammed & Vossman, Frank & Weber, Martin, 2003. "Choice-Based Elicitation and Decomposition of Decision Weights for Gains and Losses Under Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 3756, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
- Nathalie Etchart-Vincent, 2004. "Is Probability Weighting Sensitive to the Magnitude of Consequences? An Experimental Investigation on Losses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 217-235, 05.
- Pamela K. Lattimore & Joanna R. Baker & A. Dryden Witte, 1992. "The Influence Of Probability on Risky Choice: A parametric Examination," NBER Technical Working Papers 0081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levy, Haim & Levy, Moshe, 2002. "Arrow-Pratt Risk Aversion, Risk Premium and Decision Weights," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 265-90, November.
- Han Bleichrodt & Jose Luis Pinto, 2000. "A Parameter-Free Elicitation of the Probability Weighting Function in Medical Decision Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1485-1496, November.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Schunk, Daniel & Betsch, Cornelia, 2006.
"Explaining heterogeneity in utility functions by individual differences in decision modes,"
Journal of Economic Psychology,
Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 386-401, June.
- Daniel Schunk, 2005. "Explaining heterogeneity in utility functions by individual differences in decision modes," MEA discussion paper series 05078, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
- Peter Wakker & Veronika KÃ¶bberling & Christiane Schwieren, 2007. "Prospect-theoryâ€™s Diminishing Sensitivity Versus Economicsâ€™ Intrinsic Utility of Money: How the Introduction of the Euro can be Used to Disentangle the Two Empirically," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(3), pages 205-231, November.
- Pennings, J.M.E. & Smidts, A., 2002.
"The Shape of Utility Functions and Organizational Behavior,"
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERS-2002-18-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Joost M. E. Pennings & Ale Smidts, 2003. "The Shape of Utility Functions and Organizational Behavior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(9), pages 1251-1263, September.
- Wakker, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1993. "An Axiomatization of Cumulative Prospect Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 147-75, October.
- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
- Knutson, Brian & Peterson, Richard, 2005. "Neurally reconstructing expected utility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 305-315, August.
- Schmidt, Ulrich & Traub, Stefan, 2002. "An Experimental Test of Loss Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 233-49, November.
- Lattimore, Pamela K. & Baker, Joanna R. & Witte, Ann D., 1992. "The influence of probability on risky choice: A parametric examination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 377-400, May.
- Mao, James C T, 1970. "Survey of Capital Budgeting: Theory and Practice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 349-60, May.
- Peter Wakker & Daniel Deneffe, 1996. "Eliciting von Neumann-Morgenstern Utilities When Probabilities Are Distorted or Unknown," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1131-1150, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-09-00246. 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: (John P. Conley)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.