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Measuring Risk Attitudes in a Natural Experiment: Data from the Television Game Show Lingo


  • Beetsma, Roel M W J
  • Schotman, Peter C


We use data from a television game show involving elementary lotteries as a natural experiment to measure risk attitudes. Unique features of our data set are the substantial monetary stakes and the large sample size. CRRA and CARA utility specifications perform approximately equally well. We find robust evidence of substantial risk aversion. Extensions of the basic model, which allow for a separate utility flow purely from playing the game or for decisions based on decision weights instead of actual probabilities, raise the estimated degree of risk aversion.

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  • Beetsma, Roel M W J & Schotman, Peter C, 2001. "Measuring Risk Attitudes in a Natural Experiment: Data from the Television Game Show Lingo," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 821-848, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:111:y:2001:i:474:p:821-48

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    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


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