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Resolving Inconsistencies in Utility Measurement Under Risk: Tests of Generalizations of Expected Utility

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  • Han Bleichrodt

    () (Department of Economics, Erasmus University, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Jose Maria Abellan-Perpiñan

    () (Department of Applied Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Murcia, Espinardo Campus, 30100 Murcia, Spain)

  • Jose Luis Pinto-Prades

    () (Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Economic History, University Pablo de Olavide, Ctra. de Utrera, Km. 1, 41013 Sevilla, Spain)

  • Ildefonso Mendez-Martinez

    () (Department of Applied Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Murcia, Espinardo Campus, 30100 Murcia, Spain)

Abstract

This paper explores inconsistencies that occur in utility measurement under risk when expected utility theory is assumed and the contribution that prospect theory and some other generalizations of expected utility can make to the resolution of these inconsistencies. We used five methods to measure utilities under risk and found clear violations of expected utility. Of the theories studied, prospect theory was the most consistent with our data. The main improvement of prospect theory over expected utility was in comparisons between a riskless and a risky prospect (riskless-risk methods). We observed no improvement over expected utility in comparisons between two risky prospects (risk-risk methods). An explanation for the latter observation may be that there was less distortion in probability weighting in the interval [0.10, 0.20] than has commonly been observed.

Suggested Citation

  • Han Bleichrodt & Jose Maria Abellan-Perpiñan & Jose Luis Pinto-Prades & Ildefonso Mendez-Martinez, 2007. "Resolving Inconsistencies in Utility Measurement Under Risk: Tests of Generalizations of Expected Utility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(3), pages 469-482, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:3:p:469-482
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0647
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    Cited by:

    1. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & l’Haridon, Olivier, 2013. "Prospect theory in the health domain: A quantitative assessment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1057-1065.
    2. Arthur E. Attema & Werner B.F. Brouwer & Olivier l'Haridon, 2013. "A quantification of prospect theory in the health domain," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201321, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    3. Jones-Lee, M. & Spackman, M., 2013. "The development of road and rail transport safety valuation in the United Kingdom," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 23-40.
    4. Pinto-Prades, Jose Luis & Loomes, Graham & Brey, Raul, 2009. "Trying to estimate a monetary value for the QALY," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 553-562, May.
    5. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Ahmed Driouchi & Olivier L’Haridon, 2011. "Risk aversion elicitation: reconciling tractability and bias minimization," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 63-80, July.
    6. Arthur E. Attema & Werner B.F. Brouwer, 2014. "Deriving Time Discounting Correction Factors For Tto Tariffs," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 410-425, April.
    7. Gonzalez, Juan Marcos & Brett Hauber, A. & Reed Johnson, F., 2015. "Estimating conditional certainty equivalents using choice-experiment data," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 14-25.
    8. Rodríguez-Míguez, E. & Abellán-Perpiñán, J.M. & Alvarez, X.C. & González, X.M. & Sampayo, A.R., 2016. "The DEP-6D, a new preference-based measure to assess health states of dependency," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 210-219.
    9. Bleichrodt, Han & Filko, Martin, 2008. "New tests of QALYs when health varies over time," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1237-1249, September.
    10. Chen Li & Zhihua Li & Peter Wakker, 2014. "If nudge cannot be applied: a litmus test of the readers’ stance on paternalism," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(3), pages 297-315, March.
    11. Birgit Löhndorf & Anna-Lena Sachs & Rudolf Vetschera, 2014. "Stability of probability effects in utility elicitation," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 22(4), pages 755-777, December.
    12. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Olivier L'Haridon & Corina Paraschiv, 2011. "Experienced vs. Described Uncertainty: Do We Need Two Prospect Theory Specifications?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(10), pages 1879-1895, October.
    13. Alejandro Arrieta & Ariadna García-Prado & Paula González & Jose Luis Pinto-Prades, 2016. "Risk Attitudes in Medical Decisions for Others: An Experimental Approach," Working Papers 16.07, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    14. Jose Mª Abellán Perpiñán & Fernando Ignacio Sánchez Martínez & Jorge Eduardo Martínez Pérez & Ildefonso Méndez Martínez, 2009. "The QALY model wich came in from a general population survey: roughly multiplicative, broadly nonlinear and sometimes contex-dependt," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2009/04, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    15. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2011. "Uncertainty Equivalents: Testing the Limits of the Independence Axiom," NBER Working Papers 17342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Jose-Luis Pinto-Prades & Jose-Maria Abellan-Perpiñan, 2012. "When normative and descriptive diverge: how to bridge the difference," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(4), pages 569-584, April.
    17. Bleichrodt, Han & Quiggin, John, 2013. "Capabilities as menus: A non-welfarist basis for QALY evaluation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 128-137.
    18. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & l’Haridon, Olivier & Pinto, Jose Luis, 2016. "An elicitation of utility for quality of life under prospect theory," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 121-134.
    19. Abellan-Perpiñan, Jose Maria & Bleichrodt, Han & Pinto-Prades, Jose Luis, 2009. "The predictive validity of prospect theory versus expected utility in health utility measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1039-1047, December.
    20. Stefan Zeisberger & Dennis Vrecko & Thomas Langer, 2012. "Measuring the time stability of Prospect Theory preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 359-386, March.
    21. Reimann, Olivier & Schumacher, Christian & Vetschera, Rudolf, 2017. "How well does the OWA operator represent real preferences?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 258(3), pages 993-1003.
    22. Christopher Schwand & Rudolf Vetschera & Lea Wakolbinger, 2010. "The influence of probabilities on the response mode bias in utility elicitation," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 395-416, September.
    23. repec:kap:jrisku:v:55:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9266-y is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Michael Callen & Mohammad Isaqzadeh & James D. Long & Charles Sprenger, 2014. "Violence and Risk Preference: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 123-148, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    utility measurement; nonexpected utility; prospect theory; health;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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