IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Utility of a quarter-million


  • Blavatskyy, Pavlo R.


This paper presents a new method how to elicit the Bernoulli utility function over a wide range of monetary outcomes using approximation through Taylor expansion. The new method is applied to the natural experiment provided by the Swiss version of the television show Deal or No Deal.

Suggested Citation

  • Blavatskyy, Pavlo R., 2012. "Utility of a quarter-million," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 650-653.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:3:p:650-653 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.08.011

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    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

    1. Thierry Post & Martijn J. van den Assem & Guido Baltussen & Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Deal or No Deal? Decision Making under Risk in a Large-Payoff Game Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 38-71, March.
    2. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Nicolas de Roos & Yianis Sarafidis, 2010. "Decision making under risk in Deal or No Deal," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 987-1027.
    5. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151-151.
    6. 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.
    7. Pavlo Blavatskyy & Ganna Pogrebna, 2008. "Risk Aversion when Gains are Likely and Unlikely: Evidence from a Natural Experiment with Large Stakes," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 395-420, March.
    8. Pavlo R. Blavatskyy & Ganna Pogrebna, 2010. "Models of stochastic choice and decision theories: why both are important for analyzing decisions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 963-986.
    9. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2006. "Error Propagation in the Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 315-334, May.
    10. Pavlo R. Blavatskyy, 2011. "Stronger Utility," Working Papers 2011-16, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    11. Blavatskyy, Pavlo R., 2008. "Stochastic utility theorem," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(11), pages 1049-1056, December.
    12. Cary Deck & Jungmin Lee & Javier Reyes, 2008. "Risk attitudes in large stake gambles: evidence from a game show," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 41-52.
    13. 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.
    14. Botti Fabrizio & Conte Anna & Di Cagno Daniela Teresa & D'Ippoliti Carlo, 2008. "Risk Attitude in Real Decision Problems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-32, March.
    15. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Expected utility theory; Bernoulli utility function; Taylor expansion; Risk aversion; Markowitz utility;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


    Access and download statistics


    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:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:3:p:650-653. 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: .

    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.