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Risk preference differentials of small groups and individuals

  • RobertS. Shupp
  • ArlingtonW. Williams

This research compares lottery valuation decisions made by individuals with similar decisions made by small groups. There is an extensive social psychology literature addressing group versus individual decision making but few studies explore this issue in economic contexts with cash rewards. Willingness-to-pay data elicited from independent samples of individuals and three-person groups in a repeated-measures experimental design reveal that: the variance of risk preferences is generally smaller for groups than individuals and the average group is "more" risk averse than the average individual in high-risk situations, but groups tend to be "less" risk averse in low-risk situations. Copyright 2008 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2008.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 525 (01)
Pages: 258-283

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:525:p:258-283
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  1. Ortona, Guido, 1994. "Examining Risk Preferences under High Monetary Incentives: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1104, September.
  2. Kachelmeier, Steven J & Shehata, Mohamed, 1994. "Examining Risk Preferences under High Monetary Incentives: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1105-06, September.
  3. 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 1325-48, December.
  4. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
  5. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational†Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
  6. Kachelmeier, Steven J & Shehata, Mohamed, 1992. "Examining Risk Preferences under High Monetary Incentives: Experimental Evidence from the People's Republic of China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1120-41, December.
  7. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-61, April.
  8. 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.
  9. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
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