IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/deveco/v117y2015icp151-170.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Stability of experimental and survey measures of risk, time, and social preferences: A review and some new results

Author

Listed:
  • Chuang, Yating
  • Schechter, Laura

Abstract

Underlying preferences are often considered to be persistent, and are important inputs into economic models. We first conduct an extensive review of the disparate literature studying the stability of preferences measured in experiments. Then, we test the stability of individuals' choices in panel data from rural Paraguay over almost a decade. Answers to social preference survey questions are quite stable. Experimental measures of risk, time, and social preferences do not exhibit much stability. Correlations between experimental measures of risk aversion are a more precisely estimated zero, whereas correlations for time and social preferences are larger and noisier. We also find no systematic evidence that real world shocks influence play in games. We suggest that in a developing country context researchers should explore designing simpler experiments and including survey questions in addition to experiments to measure preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Chuang, Yating & Schechter, Laura, 2015. "Stability of experimental and survey measures of risk, time, and social preferences: A review and some new results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 151-170.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:117:y:2015:i:c:p:151-170
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.07.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387815000875
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Syngjoo Choi & Shachar Kariv & Wieland M?ller & Dan Silverman, 2014. "Who Is (More) Rational?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1518-1550, June.
    2. Lisa Cameron & Manisha Shah, 2015. "Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 484-515.
    3. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
    4. Booth, Alison & Cardona-Sosa, Lina & Nolen, Patrick, 2014. "Gender differences in risk aversion: Do single-sex environments affect their development?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 126-154.
    5. McLeish, Kendra N. & Oxoby, Robert J., 2007. "Gender, Affect and Intertemporal Consistency: An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2663, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. David A. Fleming & Alberto Chong & Hernán D. Bejarano, 2014. "Trust and Reciprocity in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(11), pages 1482-1493, November.
    7. Frederico Finan & Laura Schechter, 2012. "Vote‐Buying and Reciprocity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 863-881, March.
    8. Marc Willinger & Mohamed Ali Bchir & Carine Heitz, 2013. "Risk and time preferences under the threat of background risk: a case-study of lahars risk in central Java," Working Papers 13-08, LAMETA, Universitiy of Montpellier, revised May 2013.
    9. Jeanette Brosig & Thomas Riechmann & Joachim Weimann, 2007. "Selfish in the end? An investigation of consistency and stability of individual behaviour," FEMM Working Papers 07005, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    10. Uri Gneezy & John A. List & George Wu, 2006. "The Uncertainty Effect: When a Risky Prospect is Valued Less than its Worst Possible Outcome," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1283-1309.
    11. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    12. Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2005. "Temporal stability of estimates of risk aversion," Applied Financial Economics Letters, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 31-35, January.
    13. Mohamed Ali Bchir & Marc Willinger, 2013. "Does the exposure to natural hazards affect risk and time preferences? Some insights from a field experiment in Perú," Working Papers 13-04, LAMETA, Universitiy of Montpellier, revised Mar 2013.
    14. Eva Wölbert & Arno Riedl, 2013. "Measuring Time and Risk Preferences: Realiability, Stability, Domain Specificity," CESifo Working Paper Series 4339, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Hans P. Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes Toward Risk: Experimental Measurement in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 62(3), pages 395-407.
    16. Saurabh Bhargava & George Loewenstein & Justin Sydnor, 2015. "Do Individuals Make Sensible Health Insurance Decisions? Evidence from a Menu with Dominated Options," NBER Working Papers 21160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Lisa Anderson & Jennifer Mellor, 2009. "Are risk preferences stable? Comparing an experimental measure with a validated survey-based measure," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 137-160, October.
    18. Barham, Bradford L. & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Fitz, Dylan & Salas, Vanessa Ríos & Schechter, Laura, 2014. "The roles of risk and ambiguity in technology adoption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 204-218.
    19. Utteeyo Dasgupta & Lata Gangadharan & Pushkar Maitra & Subha Mani, 2014. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum: An Experimental Investigation," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2014-07, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    20. Uwe Dulleck & Jonas Fooken & Jacob Fell, 2015. "Within-Subject Intra- and Inter-Method Consistency of Two Experimental Risk Attitude Elicitation Methods," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(1), pages 104-121, February.
    21. van den Berg, Marrit & Fort, Ricardo & Burger, Kees, 2009. "Natural Hazards And Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence From Latin America," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51394, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    22. Ligon, Ethan & Schechter, Laura, 2012. "Motives for sharing in social networks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 13-26.
    23. James Andreoni & William Harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2003. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 893-902, June.
    24. Jamison, Julian & Karlan, Dean & Schechter, Laura, 2008. "To deceive or not to deceive: The effect of deception on behavior in future laboratory experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 477-488, December.
    25. Ondřej Rydval & Andreas Ortmann & Sasha Prokosheva & Ralph Hertwig, 2009. "How certain is the uncertainty effect?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(4), pages 473-487, December.
    26. Kimball, Miles S & Sahm, Claudia R & Shapiro, Matthew D, 2008. "Imputing Risk Tolerance From Survey Responses," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(483), pages 1028-1038.
    27. Kim, Young-Il & Lee, Jungmin, 2014. "The long-run impact of a traumatic experience on risk aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 174-186.
    28. Angela C. M. de Oliveira & Catherine Eckel & Rachel T. A. Croson, 2012. "The Stability of Social Preferences in a Low-Income Neighborhood," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 15-45, July.
    29. Schechter, Laura, 2007. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural Paraguay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 272-292, February.
    30. Ernst Fehr, 2009. "On The Economics and Biology of Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 235-266, 04-05.
    31. Yoram Halevy, 2015. "Time Consistency: Stationarity and Time Invariance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 335-352, January.
    32. Love, Ross O. & Robison, Lindon J., 1984. "An Empirical Analysis of the Intertemporal Stability of Risk Preference," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 159-166, July.
    33. John Hey, 2001. "Does Repetition Improve Consistency?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(1), pages 5-54, June.
    34. Becchetti, Leonardo & Castriota, Stefano & Conzo, Pierluigi, 2017. "Disaster, Aid, and Preferences: The Long-run Impact of the Tsunami on Giving in Sri Lanka," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 157-173.
    35. Schoemaker, Paul J. H. & Hershey, John C., 1992. "Utility measurement: Signal, noise, and bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 397-424, August.
    36. Laura Schechter, 2007. "Theft, Gift-Giving, and Trustworthiness: Honesty Is Its Own Reward in Rural Paraguay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1560-1582, December.
    37. Conte, Anna & Levati, Vittoria & Montinari, Natalia, 2014. "Experience in Public Goods Experiments," Working Papers 2014:20, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    38. Astrid Matthey & Tobias Regner, 2013. "On the independence of history: experience spill-overs between experiments," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(3), pages 403-419, September.
    39. Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Nam, Pham Khanh, 2014. "Social preferences are stable over long periods of time," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 104-114.
    40. Krupka, Erin L. & Stephens, Melvin, 2013. "The stability of measured time preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 11-19.
    41. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    42. 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.
    43. Page, Lionel & Savage, David A. & Torgler, Benno, 2014. "Variation in risk seeking behaviour following large losses: A natural experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 121-131.
    44. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu, 2010. "In aid we trust : hearts and minds and the Pakistan earthquake of 2005," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5440, The World Bank.
    45. Kirby, Kris N. & Godoy, Ricardo & Reyes-Garcia, Victoria & Byron, Elizabeth & Apaza, Lilian & Leonard, William & Perez, Eddy & Vadez, Vincent & Wilkie, David, 2002. "Correlates of delay-discount rates: Evidence from Tsimane' Amerindians of the Bolivian rain forest," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 291-316, June.
    46. Raymond Fisman & Shachar Kariv & Daniel Markovits, 2007. "Individual Preferences for Giving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1858-1876, December.
    47. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Monica Paiella, 2011. "Relative Risk Aversion Is Constant: Evidence From Panel Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(6), pages 1021-1052, December.
    48. Arnaud Reynaud & Stéphane Couture, 2012. "Stability of risk preference measures: results from a field experiment on French farmers," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 203-221, August.
    49. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2010. "Time discounting for primary and monetary rewards," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 125-127, February.
    50. Syngjoo Choi & Raymond Fisman & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2007. "Consistency, Heterogeneity, and Granularity of Individual Behavior under Uncertainty," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000793, UCLA Department of Economics.
    51. Fisman, Raymond & Jakiela, Pamela & Kariv, Shachar, 2015. "How did distributional preferences change during the Great Recession?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 84-95.
    52. Isaac, R Mark & James, Duncan, 2000. "Just Who Are You Calling Risk Averse?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 177-187, March.
    53. Said, Farah & Afzal, Uzma & Turner, Ginger, 2015. "Risk taking and risk learning after a rare event: Evidence from a field experiment in Pakistan," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 167-183.
    54. Syngjoo Choi & Raymond Fisman & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2007. "Consistency and Heterogeneity of Individual Behavior under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1921-1938, December.
    55. Lönnqvist, Jan-Erik & Verkasalo, Markku & Walkowitz, Gari & Wichardt, Philipp C., 2014. "Measuring individual risk attitudes in the lab: Task or ask? An empirical comparison," Kiel Working Papers 1905, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    56. Pamela Jakiela & Edward Miguel & Vera Velde, 2015. "You’ve earned it: estimating the impact of human capital on social preferences," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 385-407, September.
    57. Lionel Page & David Savage & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Variation in risk seeking behavior in a natural experiment on large losses induced by a natural disaster," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    58. Giacomo De Luca & Marijke Verpoorten, 2015. "Civil war, social capital and resilience in Uganda," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 661-686.
    59. Maarten J. Voors & Eleonora E. M. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin H. Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan P. Van Soest, 2012. "Violent Conflict and Behavior: A Field Experiment in Burundi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 941-964, April.
    60. Paul Gerrans & Robert Faff & Neil Hartnett & Henk Berkman, 2015. "Individual financial risk tolerance and the global financial crisis," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 55(1), pages 165-185, March.
    61. Pauline Grosjean, 2014. "Conflict and Social and Political Preferences: Evidence from World War II and Civil Conflict in 35 European Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 56(3), pages 424-451, September.
    62. Eckel, Catherine C. & El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Wilson, Rick K., 2009. "Risk loving after the storm: A Bayesian-Network study of Hurricane Katrina evacuees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 110-124, February.
    63. Michael Callen & Mohammad Isaqzadeh & James D. Long & Charles Sprenger, 2014. "Violence and Risk Preference: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 123-148, January.
    64. Paola Sapienza & Anna Toldra‐Simats & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Understanding Trust," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1313-1332, December.
    65. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans Theo, 2011. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 321-338, June.
    66. Manel Baucells & Antonio Villasís, 2010. "Stability of risk preferences and the reflection effect of prospect theory," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 193-211, February.
    67. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Lost In State Space: Are Preferences Stable?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1091-1112, August.
    68. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2008. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-Varying Risk Aversion? Micro-evidence on Individuals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 713-736, June.
    69. Volk, Stefan & Thöni, Christian & Ruigrok, Winfried, 2012. "Temporal stability and psychological foundations of cooperation preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 664-676.
    70. Horowitz, John K., 1992. "A test of intertemporal consistency," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 171-182, January.
    71. Kruse, Jamie Brown & Thompson, Mark A., 2003. "Valuing low probability risk: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 495-505, April.
    72. Tai-Sen HE & Fuhai HONG, 2014. "Exposure to Risk and Risk Aversion: A Laboratory Experiment," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 1403, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.
    73. Ale Smidts, 1997. "The Relationship Between Risk Attitude and Strength of Preference: A Test of Intrinsic Risk Attitude," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(3), pages 357-370, March.
    74. Eckel, Catherine C. & Wilson, Rick K., 2004. "Is trust a risky decision?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 447-465, December.
    75. Mark Dean & Anja Sautmann, 2014. "Credit Constraints and the Measurement of Time Preferences," Working Papers 2014-1, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    76. Leonardo Becchetti & Pierluigi Conzo & Alessandro Romeo, 2014. "Violence, trust, and trustworthiness: evidence from a Nairobi slum," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 283-305, January.
    77. Markus Sass & Joachim Weimann, 2012. "The Dynamics of Individual Preferences in Repeated Public Good Experiments," FEMM Working Papers 120002, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    78. Marco Castillo & Michael Carter, 2011. "Behavioral Responses to Natural Disasters," Working Papers 1026, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    79. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
    80. Chetan Dave & Catherine Eckel & Cathleen Johnson & Christian Rojas, 2010. "Eliciting risk preferences: When is simple better?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 219-243, December.
    81. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
    82. Alessandra Cassar & Pauline Grosjean & Sam Whitt, 2013. "Legacies of violence: trust and market development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 285-318, September.
    83. Daniel G. Goldstein & Eric J. Johnson & William F. Sharpe, 2008. "Choosing Outcomes versus Choosing Products: Consumer-Focused Retirement Investment Advice," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 440-456, August.
    84. Lucy Ackert & Ann Gillette & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Mark Rider, 2011. "Are benevolent dictators altruistic in groups? A within-subject design," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 307-321, September.
    85. Stefan Zeisberger & Dennis Vrecko & Thomas Langer, 2012. "Measuring the time stability of Prospect Theory preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 359-386, March.
    86. Sarah Jacobson & Ragan Petrie, 2009. "Learning from mistakes: What do inconsistent choices over risk tell us?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 143-158, April.
    87. Stephan Meier & Charles D. Sprenger, 2015. "Temporal Stability of Time Preferences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 273-286, May.
    88. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    89. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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:eee:deveco:v:117:y:2015:i:c:p:151-170. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec .

    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.