Poverty and probability: aspiration and aversion to compound lotteries in El Salvador and India
Some experimental participants are averse to compound lotteries: they prefer simple lotteries that depend on only one random event, even when the simple lotteries offer lower expected value. This paper proposes that many behavioral “investments” represent more compound risk for poorer people—who often face multiple dimensions of deprivation—than for richer people. As a result, identical aversion to compound lotteries can prevent investment among poorer people, but have no effect on richer people. The paper reports five studies: two initial studies that document that aversion to compound lotteries operates as an economic preference, two “laboratory experiments in the field” in El Salvador, and one Internet survey experiment in India. Poorer Salvadoran women who choose a compound lottery are 27 percentage points more likely to have found formal employment than those who chose a simple lottery, but lottery choice is unrelated to employment for richer women. Poorer students at the national Salvadoran university choose more compound lotteries than richer students, on average, implying that aversion to compound lotteries screened out poorer aspirants but not richer ones. Poorer and lower-caste Indian participants who choose compound lotteries are more likely than those who choose simple lotteries to have a different occupation than their parents, which is not the case for better-off participants. These findings suggest that the consequences of aversion to compound lotteries are different in the context of poverty and disadvantage. Copyright Economic Science Association 2013
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/economic+theory/journal/10683/PS2|
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.:
- Karla Hoff & Mayuresh Kshetramade & Ernst Fehr, 2011.
"Caste and Punishment: the Legacy of Caste Culture in Norm Enforcement,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages 449-475, November.
- Hoff, Karla & Kshetramade, Mayuresh & Fehr, Ernst, 2009. "Caste and punishment : the legacy of caste culture in norm enforcement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5040, The World Bank.
- Karla Hoff & Mayuresh Kshetramade & Ernst Fehr, 2010. "Caste and punishment: the legacy of caste culture in norm enforcement," IEW - Working Papers 476, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Hoff, Karla & Kshetramade, Mayuresh & Fehr, Ernst, 2009. "Caste and Punishment: The Legacy of Caste Culture in Norm Enforcement," IZA Discussion Papers 4343, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Spears Dean, 2011. "Economic Decision-Making in Poverty Depletes Behavioral Control," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-44, December.
- Dean Spears, 2010. "Economic Decision-making in Poverty Depletes Behavioral Control," Working Papers 1293, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- Segal, Uzi, 1987. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 175-202, February.
- Uzi Segal, 1985. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," UCLA Economics Working Papers 362, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Deshpande, Ashwani, 2011. "The Grammar of Caste: Economic Discrimination in Contemporary India," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198072034.
- Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
- Joseph Henrich & Steve J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan, 2010. "The Weirdest People in the World?," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 139, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
- Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "Attitudes toward Uncertainty among the Poor: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 4225, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie & Trautmann, Stefan, 2010. "Attitudes Toward Uncertainty Among the Poor: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-10-04-efd, Resources For the Future.
- Maarten Voors & Eleonora Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan van Soest, 2010. "Does Conflict affect Preferences? Results from Field Experiments in Burundi," Research Working Papers 21, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
- Maarten Voors & Eleonora Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan van Soest, 2010. "Does Conflict affect Preferences? Results from Field Experiments in Burundi," HiCN Working Papers 71, Households in Conflict Network.
- M. Voorst & E. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & E. Bulte & Robert Lensink & D. van Soest, 2010. "Does conflict affect preferences? Results from field experiments in Burundi," Working Papers ECARES 2010_006, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, 03.
- Halevy, Yoram, 2005. "Ellsberg Revisited: an Experimental Study," Microeconomics.ca working papers halevy-05-07-26-11-51-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
- Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2003. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: experiments in the field lab," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 263-289, April.
- Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
- Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
- Jeffery Carpenter & Juan Camilo Cardenas, 2006. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from field labs in the developing world," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0616, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- Engle Warnick James C. & Escobal Javier & Laszlo Sonia C., 2011. "Ambiguity Aversion and Portfolio Choice in Small-Scale Peruvian Farming," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-56, November.
- repec:bla:joares:v:9:y:1971:i:2:p:307-332 is not listed on IDEAS
- Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-571, March.
- John Hey & Jinkwon Lee, 2005. "Do Subjects Separate (or Are They Sophisticated)?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(3), pages 233-265, September.
- 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.
- Kyoungwon Seo, 2009. "Ambiguity and Second-Order Belief," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1575-1605, 09. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:16:y:2013:i:3:p:263-284. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
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.