Prospect Theory: Much Ado About Nothing?
Prospect theory is a paradigm challenging the expected utility paradigm. One of the fundamental components of prospect theory is the S-shaped value function. The value function is mainly justified by experimental investigation of the certainty equivalents of prospects confined either to the negative or to the positive domain, but not of mixed prospects, which characterize most actual investments. We conduct an experimental study with mixed prospects, using, for the first time, recently developed investment criteria called Prospect Stochastic Dominance (PSD) and Markowitz Stochastic Dominance (MSD). We reject the S-shaped value function, showing that at least 62%--76% of the subjects cannot be characterized by such preferences. We find support for the Markowitz utility function, which is a reversed S-shaped function---exactly the opposite of the prospect theory value function. It is possible that the previous results supporting the S-shaped value function are distorted because the prospects had only positive or only negative outcomes, presenting hypothetical situations which individuals do not usually face, and which are certainly not common in financial markets.
Volume (Year): 48 (2002)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Levy, Haim & Wiener, Zvi, 1998. "Stochastic Dominance and Prospect Dominance with Subjective Weighting Functions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 147-63, May-June.
- Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory and Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53.
- Hersh Shefrin & Meir Statman, 1993. "Behavioral Aspects of the Design and Marketing of Financial Products," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 22(2), Summer.
- Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1989. "Prospective Reference Theory: Toward an Explanation of the Paradoxes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 235-63, September.
- 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.
- 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.
- James Tobin, 1956.
"Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
14, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
- Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
- Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
- Hadar, Josef & Russell, William R, 1969. "Rules for Ordering Uncertain Prospects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 25-34, March.
- Richard H. Thaler, 2008.
"Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice,"
INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
- Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
- Edwards, Kimberley D., 1996. "Prospect theory: A literature review," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 19-38.
- Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1999. "Risk Aversion or Myopia? Choices in Repeated Gambles and Retirement Investments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(3), pages 364-381, March.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
- G. Hanoch & H. Levy, 1969. "The Efficiency Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 335-346.
- Levy, Moshe & Levy, Haim, 2001. "Testing for risk aversion: a stochastic dominance approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 233-240, May.
- Haim Levy, 1992. "Stochastic Dominance and Expected Utility: Survey and Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(4), pages 555-593, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:48:y:2002:i:10:p:1334-1349. 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: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.