IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

The Midweight Method to Measure Attitudes Toward Risk and Ambiguity

  • Gijs van de Kuilen

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Tilburg University, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands)

  • Peter P. Wakker

    ()

    (Econometric Institute, Erasmus University, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

This paper introduces a parameter-free method for measuring the weighting functions of prospect theory and rank-dependent utility. These weighting functions capture risk attitudes, subjective beliefs, and ambiguity attitudes. Our method, called the midweight method, is based on a convenient way to obtain midpoints in the weighting function scale. It can be used both for risk (known probabilities) and for uncertainty (unknown probabilities). The resulting integrated treatment of risk and uncertainty is particularly useful for measuring ambiguity, i.e., the difference between uncertainty and risk. Compared to existing methods to measure weighting functions and attitudes toward uncertainty and ambiguity, our method is more efficient and can accommodate violations of expected utility under risk. An experiment demonstrates the tractability of our method, yielding plausible results such as ambiguity aversion for moderate and high likelihoods but ambiguity seeking for low likelihoods, as predicted by Ellsberg. This paper was accepted by George Wu, decision analysis.

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.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1100.1282
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 582-598

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:3:p:582-598
Contact details of provider: Postal:
7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

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.:

as in new window
  1. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, 06.
  2. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private-Value Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 247-272, May.
  3. Wakker,Peter P., 2010. "Prospect Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521765015, june. pag.
  4. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1998. "A Belief-Based Account of Decision Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(7), pages 879-895, July.
  5. Kahn, Barbara E & Sarin, Rakesh K, 1988. " Modeling Ambiguity in Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 265-72, September.
  6. Michel Grabisch & Ivan Kojadinovic & Patrick Meyer, 2008. "A review of methods for capacity identification in Choquet integral based multi-attribute utility theory: Applications of the Kappalab R package," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00187175, HAL.
  7. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
  8. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanie, 2000. "Estimating Preferences under Risk: The Case of Racetrack Bettors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 503-530, June.
  9. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  10. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  11. Larry G. Epstein & Jiankang Zhang, 1999. "Subjective Probabilities on Subjectively Unambiguous Events," Carleton Economic Papers 99-18, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  12. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00187175 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. repec:hal:journl:hal-00609214 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
  15. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1989. "Maxmin Expected Utility with Non-Unique Prior," Post-Print hal-00753237, HAL.
  16. Fox, Craig R & Rogers, Brett A & Tversky, Amos, 1996. "Options Traders Exhibit Subadditive Decision Weights," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 5-17, July.
  17. Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risk Aversion and Expected Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7667, David K. Levine.
  18. Ghirardato, Paolo & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2001. "A Subjective Spin on Roulette Wheels," Working Papers 1127, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  19. H. Bleichrodt & C. Paraschiv & Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2007. "Loss Aversion Under Prospect Theory: A Parameter-Free Measurement," Post-Print hal-00457047, HAL.
  20. Han Bleichrodt & Alessandra Cillo & Enrico Diecidue, 2010. "A Quantitative Measurement of Regret Theory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 161-175, January.
  21. Loomes, Graham & Moffatt, Peter G & Sugden, Robert, 2002. "A Microeconometric Test of Alternative Stochastic Theories of Risky Choice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 103-30, March.
  22. Karl Vind, 1987. "Independent Preferences," Discussion Papers 87-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  23. Harrison, Glenn W., 1986. "An experimental test for risk aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 7-11.
  24. Olivier Armantier, 2006. "Do Wealth Differences Affect Fairness Considerations?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 391-429, 05.
  25. Humphrey, Steven J. & Verschoor, Arjan, 2004. "The probability weighting function: experimental evidence from Uganda, India and Ethiopia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 419-425, September.
  26. Charles M. Harvey, 1986. "Value Functions for Infinite-Period Planning," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(9), pages 1123-1139, September.
  27. George Wu & Richard Gonzalez, 1999. "Nonlinear Decision Weights in Choice Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(1), pages 74-85, January.
  28. Henry Stott, 2006. "Cumulative prospect theory's functional menagerie," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 101-130, March.
  29. repec:lmu:muenar:20868 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Joseph Henrich & Richard McElreath, 2002. "Are peasants risk-averse decision makers?," Artefactual Field Experiments 00066, The Field Experiments Website.
  31. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  32. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
  33. Loomes, Graham, 1991. "Evidence of a New Violation of the Independence Axiom," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 91-108, January.
  34. Han Bleichrodt & Jose Luis Pinto, 2000. "A Parameter-Free Elicitation of the Probability Weighting Function in Medical Decision Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1485-1496, November.
  35. John Hey & Gianna Lotito & Anna Maffioletti, 2010. "The descriptive and predictive adequacy of theories of decision making under uncertainty/ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 81-111, October.
  36. Robin M. Hogarth & Hillel J. Einhorn, 1990. "Venture Theory: A Model of Decision Weights," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 780-803, July.
  37. Andersen, Steffen & Fountain, John & Harrison, Glenn W. & Rutström, Elisabet, 2009. "Eliciting Beliefs," Working Papers 03-2009, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  38. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Peter Wakker, 2005. "The Likelihood Method for Decision under Uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 3-76, 02.
  39. Noussair, Charles & Robin, Stephane & Ruffieux, Bernard, 2004. "Revealing consumers' willingness-to-pay: A comparison of the BDM mechanism and the Vickrey auction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 725-741, December.
  40. Jianying Qiu & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2009. "Understanding the Two Components of Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Analysis," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-088, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  41. Donkers, A.C.D. & Melenberg, B. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1999. "Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries; A Large Sample Approach," Discussion Paper 1999-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  42. Enrique Fatas & Tibor Neugebauer & Pilar Tamborero, 2007. "How Politicians Make Decisions: A Political Choice Experiment," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 167-196, October.
  43. Diecidue, E. & Wakker, P.P. & Zeelenberg, M., 2007. "Eliciting decision weights by adapting de Finetti's betting-odds method to prospect theory," Other publications TiSEM ac35645a-7772-46fe-ba31-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  44. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
  45. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Frank Vossmann & Martin Weber, 2005. "Choice-Based Elicitation and Decomposition of Decision Weights for Gains and Losses Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(9), pages 1384-1399, September.
  46. Peter Fishburn & Ward Edwards, 1997. "Discount-neutral utility models for denumerable time streams," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 139-166, September.
  47. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2006. "Error Propagation in the Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 315-334, 05.
  48. Mangelsdorff, Lukas & Weber, Martin, 1994. "Testing choquet expected utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 437-457, December.
  49. Frederick Mosteller & Philip Nogee, 1951. "An Experimental Measurement of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 371.
  50. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2003. "Risk averse behavior in generalized matching pennies games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 97-113, October.
  51. Thomas Palfrey, 2002. "Quantal Response Equilibrium and Overbidding in Private Value Auctions," Theory workshop papers 357966000000000089, UCLA Department of Economics.
  52. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2002. "A Genuine Rank-Dependent Generalization of the Von Neumann-Morgenstern Expected Utility Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 717-736, March.
  53. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-89, November.
  54. John A. List (ed.), 2006. "Using Experimental Methods in Environmental and Resource Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 4180, April.
  55. Enrico Diecidue & Peter Wakker & Marcel Zeelenberg, 2007. "Eliciting decision weights by adapting de Finetti’s betting-odds method to prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 179-199, June.
  56. Kilka, Michael & Weber, Martin, 1998. "What Determines the Shape of the Probability Weighting Function under Uncertainty?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-11, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  57. George Wu & Jiao Zhang & Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2005. "Testing Prospect Theories Using Probability Tradeoff Consistency," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 107-131, January.
  58. Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
  59. Bleichrodt, Han, 2001. "Probability Weighting in Choice under Risk: An Empirical Test," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 185-98, September.
  60. Bostic, Raphael & Herrnstein, R. J. & Luce, R. Duncan, 1990. "The effect on the preference-reversal phenomenon of using choice indifferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 193-212, March.
  61. Peter Wakker & Daniel Deneffe, 1996. "Eliciting von Neumann-Morgenstern Utilities When Probabilities Are Distorted or Unknown," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1131-1150, August.
  62. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:3:p:582-598. 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.