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Risk Preferences at Different Time Periods: An Experimental Investigation

  • Mohammed Abdellaoui

    ()

    (GREGHEC-CNRS, HEC-Paris, 78351 Jouy en Josas, France)

  • Enrico Diecidue

    ()

    (INSEAD, 77305 Fontainebleau, France)

  • Ayse Öncüler

    ()

    (ESSEC Business School, 95021 Cergy, France)

Intertemporal decision making under risk involves two dimensions: time preferences and risk preferences. This paper focuses on the impact of time on risk preferences, independent of the intertemporal trade-off of outcomes, i.e., time preferences. It reports the results of an experimental study that examines how delayed resolution and payment of risky options influence individual choice. We used a simple experimental design based on the comparison of two-outcome monetary lotteries with the same delay. Raw data clearly reveal that subjects become more risk tolerant for delayed lotteries. Assuming a prospect theory-like model under risk, we analyze the impact of time on utility and decision weights, independent of time preferences. We show that the subjective treatment of outcomes (i.e., utility) is not significantly affected by time. In fact, the impact of time is completely absorbed by the probability weighting function. The effect of time on risk preferences was found to generate probabilistic optimism resulting in a higher risk tolerance for delayed lotteries. This paper was accepted by Teck Ho, decision analysis.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1110.1324
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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 975-987

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:5:p:975-987
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  1. repec:hal:journl:hal-00609214 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  3. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Olivier l’Haridon & Horst Zank, 2009. "Separating Curvature and Elevation: A Parametric Weighting Function," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0901, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  4. Manel Baucells & Franz Heukamp, 2010. "Common ratio using delay," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 149-158, February.
  5. Enrico Diecidue & Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2006. "Parametric Weighting Functions," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0622, Economics, The University of Manchester.
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  8. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Charles Noussair & Ping Wu, 2006. "Risk tolerance in the present and the future: an experimental study," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(6), pages 401-412.
  11. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  12. 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.
  13. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
  14. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L’Haridon, 2008. "A tractable method to measure utility and loss aversion under prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 245-266, June.
  15. 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.
  16. Martin Ahlbrecht & Martin Weber, 1997. "An Empirical Study on Intertemporal Decision Making Under Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(6), pages 813-826, June.
  17. Halevy, Yoram, 2004. "Strotz meets Allais: Diminishing Impatience and the Certainty Effect," Microeconomics.ca working papers yoram_halevy-2004-16, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
  18. Abdellaoui, Mohammed & Barrios, Carolina & Wakker, Peter P., 2007. "Reconciling introspective utility with revealed preference: Experimental arguments based on prospect theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 356-378, May.
  19. 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.
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