The safety first expected utility model: Experimental evidence and economic implications
Roy's [Roy, A., 1952. Safety first and the holding of assets. Econometrica 20 (3), 431-449] safety first criterion advocates the minimization of the probability of outcomes below a certain "disaster" level. This paper examines safety first theoretically and experimentally. We find that safety first plays a crucial role in decision-making, inducing choices that cannot be explained by, and even contradict, risk-aversion, Prospect Theory, and loss-aversion in general. Yet, safety first alone cannot explain individual choice. Therefore, we propose an expected utility - safety first (EU-SF) model where decisions are made based on a weighted average of the safety first criterion and standard expected utility maximization. We experimentally estimate these relative weights, and discuss their economic implications.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
- Hanoch, G & Levy, Haim, 1969. "The Efficiency Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(107), pages 335-46, July.
- 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.
- 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.
- Levy, Haim & Sarnat, Marshall, 1972. "Safety First — An Expected Utility Principle," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 1829-1834, June.
- Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985.
"The equity premium: A puzzle,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
- Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005.
"A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences,"
784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0407001, EconWPA.
- Matthew Rabin., 2000.
"Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem,"
Economics Working Papers
E00-279, University of California at Berkeley.
- Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
- Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt731230f8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risk Aversion and Expected Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7667, David K. Levine.
- Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0012001, EconWPA.
- Benartzi, Shlomo & Thaler, Richard H, 1995.
"Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92, February.
- Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1993. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Broadie, M. & Goetzmann, W., 1992. "Safety First Portfolio Choice," Papers 92-23, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
- Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Reference-dependent subjective expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 172-191, August.
- M. Ryan Haley & Charles Whiteman, 2008. "Generalized Safety First and a New Twist on Portfolio Performance," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(4-6), pages 457-483.
- Eikseth, Hans Marius & Lindset, Snorre, 2009. "A note on capital asset pricing and heterogeneous taxes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-577, March.
- Post, G.T. & van Vliet, P., 2004.
"Downside Risk and Asset Pricing,"
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERS-2004-018-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Enrico Diecidue & Jeroen van de Ven, 2008. "Aspiration Level, Probability Of Success And Failure, And Expected Utility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 683-700, 05.
- Post, Thierry & van Vliet, Pim & Levy, Haim, 2008. "Risk aversion and skewness preference," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1178-1187, July.
- Stutzer, Michael, 2003. "Portfolio choice with endogenous utility: a large deviations approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1-2), pages 365-386.
- Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
- Arzac, Enrique R. & Bawa, Vijay S., 1977. "Portfolio choice and equilibrium in capital markets with safety-first investors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 277-288, May.
- 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.
- Pyle, David H & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1970. "Safety-First and Expected Utility Maximization in Mean-Standard Deviation Portfolio Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(1), pages 75-81, February.
- Ruthenberg, David & Landskroner, Yoram, 2008. "Loan pricing under Basel II in an imperfectly competitive banking market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2725-2733, December.
- Milevsky, Moshe Arye, 1999. " Time Diversification, Safety-First and Risk," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 271-81, May.
- Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutstr�m, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 897-901, June.
- Hadar, Josef & Russell, William R, 1969. "Rules for Ordering Uncertain Prospects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 25-34, March.
- William J. Baumol, 1963. "An Expected Gain-Confidence Limit Criterion for Portfolio Selection," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(1), pages 174-182, October.
- Bawa, Vijay S., 1978. "Safety-First, Stochastic Dominance, and Optimal Portfolio Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 255-271, June.
- Fred Hanssmann, 1968. "Probability of Survival as an Investment Criterion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(1), pages 33-48, September.
- Thomas Langer & Martin Weber, 2001. "Prospect Theory, Mental Accounting, and Differences in Aggregated and Segregated Evaluation of Lottery Portfolios," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(5), pages 716-733, May.
- John W. Payne & Dan J. Laughhunn & Roy Crum, 1980. "Translation of Gambles and Aspiration Level Effects in Risky Choice Behavior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(10), pages 1039-1060, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:33:y:2009:i:8:p:1494-1506. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.