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Revisiting risk aversion: Can risk preferences change with experience?

Listed author(s):
  • Ert, Eyal
  • Haruvy, Ernan

The Holt–Laury measure for risk aversion has been used extensively in economic studies to measure individuals’ risk aversion. The idea behind this measure is that individuals have stable risk preferences when making decisions under risk. We show that having repeated experiences with the Holt–Laury task can move individuals from exhibiting “risk aversion” to displaying “risk neutrality.” This finding suggests that either risk preferences are not robust to a few experiences or that responses to the tasks indicate something else. We show that a simple model of adaptation can capture this behavioral pattern.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165176516305079
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 151 (2017)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 91-95

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:151:y:2017:i:c:p:91-95
DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2016.12.008
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
  2. Brunner, Christoph & Hu, Audrey & Oechssler, Jörg, 2014. "Premium auctions and risk preferences: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 467-484.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Christine Kaufmann & Martin Weber & Emily Haisley, 2013. "The Role of Experience Sampling and Graphical Displays on One's Investment Risk Appetite," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(2), pages 323-340, July.
  6. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279-279.
  7. 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.
  8. 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, 08.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945, January.
  10. McGee, Peter, 2013. "Bidding in private-value auctions with uncertain values," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 312-326.
  11. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Imas, Alex, 2013. "Experimental methods: Eliciting risk preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 43-51.
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