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The effects of endowment on the demand for probabilistic information

  • Roca, Mercè
  • Maule, A. John
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    Research shows that individuals are ambiguity averse: they choose unambiguous over equivalent ambiguous prospects and price them higher (either as buyers or sellers). Moreover, it is often assumed that ambiguity averse individuals are willing to pay an ambiguity premium for information that reduces ambiguity [Camerer, C. F., & Weber, M. (1992). Recent developments in modeling preferences: Uncertainty and ambiguity. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 5(4), 325-370]. However, when people are asked to exchange an ambiguous alternative in their possession for an equivalent unambiguous one, they prefer to retain the former [Roca, M., Hogarth, R. M., & Maule, A. J. (2006). Ambiguity seeking as a result of the status quo bias. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 32(3), 175-194]. We present three experiments investigating the economic effects of endowment on attitudes towards ambiguity and the ambiguity premium. The experiments, based on a [Becker, G., DeGroot, M., & Marschak, J. (1964). Measuring utility by a single-response sequential method. Science, 9, 3] procedure, show that the value attributed to ambiguity reducing information is substantially affected by the status quo of the individual.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 109 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 56-66

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:109:y:2009:i:1:p:56-66
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    1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
    2. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603.
    3. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-84, December.
    4. Robin M. Hogarth & Hillel J. Einhorn, 1990. "Venture Theory: A Model of Decision Weights," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 780-803, July.
    5. Einhorn, Hillel J & Hogarth, Robin M, 1986. "Decision Making under Ambiguity," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S225-50, October.
    6. Fox, Craig R. & Weber, Martin, 2002. "Ambiguity Aversion, Comparative Ignorance, and Decision Context," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 476-498, May.
    7. Mercè Roca & Robin Hogarth & A. Maule, 2006. "Ambiguity seeking as a result of the status quo bias," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 175-194, May.
    8. Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1993. "Lottery Choice: Incentives, Complexity and Decision Time," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(421), pages 1397-1417, November.
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    11. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. " Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
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    13. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1987. "An Investigation of the Rationality of Consumer Valuations of Multiple Health Risks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(4), pages 465-479, Winter.
    14. Kahn, Barbara E & Sarin, Rakesh K, 1988. " Modeling Ambiguity in Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 265-72, September.
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