IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/expeco/v20y2017i1d10.1007_s10683-016-9482-3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Risk preferences under acute stress

Author

Listed:
  • Jana Cahlíková

    (Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance
    CERGE-EI, a joint workplace of Charles University in Prague and the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

  • Lubomír Cingl

    () (Charles University in Prague
    University of Economics in Prague)

Abstract

Abstract Many important decisions are made under stress and they often involve risky alternatives. There has been ample evidence that stress influences decision making, but still very little is known about whether individual attitudes to risk change with exposure to acute stress. To directly evaluate the causal effect of psychosocial stress on risk attitudes, we adopt an experimental approach in which we randomly expose participants to a stressor in the form of a standard laboratory stress-induction procedure: the Trier Social Stress Test for Groups. Risk preferences are elicited using a multiple price list format that has been previously shown to predict risk-oriented behavior out of the laboratory. Using three different measures (salivary cortisol levels, heart rate and multidimensional mood questionnaire scores), we show that stress was successfully induced on the treatment group. Our main result is that for men, the exposure to a stressor (intention-to-treat effect, ITT) and the exogenously induced psychosocial stress (the average treatment effect on the treated, ATT) significantly increase risk aversion when controlling for their personal characteristics. The estimated treatment difference in certainty equivalents is equivalent to 69 % (ITT) and 89 % (ATT) of the gender-difference in the control group. The effect on women goes in the same direction, but is weaker and insignificant.

Suggested Citation

  • Jana Cahlíková & Lubomír Cingl, 2017. "Risk preferences under acute stress," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 209-236, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9482-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-016-9482-3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10683-016-9482-3
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. United Nations UN, 2015. "The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015," Working Papers id:7097, eSocialSciences.
    2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2010. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1238-1260, June.
    3. Kaul, Aditya & Sapp, Stephen, 2006. "Y2K fears and safe haven trading of the U.S. dollar," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 760-779, August.
    4. Baur, Dirk G. & McDermott, Thomas K., 2010. "Is gold a safe haven? International evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1886-1898, August.
    5. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    6. Anke Becker & Thomas Deckers & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse, 2012. "The Relationship Between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 453-478, July.
    7. Dirk G. Baur & Brian M. Lucey, 2010. "Is Gold a Hedge or a Safe Haven? An Analysis of Stocks, Bonds and Gold," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 217-229, May.
    8. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 556-590, April.
    9. Eckel, Catherine C. & El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Wilson, Rick K., 2009. "Risk loving after the storm: A Bayesian-Network study of Hurricane Katrina evacuees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 110-124, February.
    10. 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.
    11. Steffen Andersen & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Rutström, 2009. "Elicitation using multiple price list formats," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(3), pages 365-366, September.
    12. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
    13. Alain Cohn & Jan Engelmann & Ernst Fehr & Michel André Maréchal, 2015. "Evidence for Countercyclical Risk Aversion: An Experiment with Financial Professionals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 860-885, February.
    14. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-862, December.
    15. Mahmud Yesuf & Randall A. Bluffstone, 2009. "Poverty, Risk Aversion, and Path Dependence in Low-Income Countries: Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1022-1037.
    16. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2008. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1109-1150, December.
    17. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
    18. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    19. United Nations UN, 2015. "The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015," Working Papers id:7222, eSocialSciences.
    20. Cameron, Lisa & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata & Zhang, Marina, 2015. "Cultural integration: Experimental evidence of convergence in immigrants’ preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 38-58.
    21. Maarten J. Voors & Eleonora E. M. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin H. Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan P. Van Soest, 2012. "Violent Conflict and Behavior: A Field Experiment in Burundi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 941-964, April.
    22. repec:eee:jfinec:v:128:y:2018:i:3:p:403-421 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. repec:lmu:muench:68610 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2018. "Time varying risk aversion," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(3), pages 403-421.
    25. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    26. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
    27. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2012. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 50-58.
    28. Heckman, James J., 2011. "Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5950, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    29. 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.
    30. Nguyen, Y. & Noussair, C.N., 2013. "Risk Aversion and Emotions," Discussion Paper 2013-041, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    31. Cary Deck & Jungmin Lee & Javier Reyes, 2010. "Personality and the Consistency of Risk Taking Behavior: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 10-17, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    32. C. Monica Capra & Bing Jiang & Jan Engelmann & Gregory Berns, 2012. "Can Personality Type Explain Heterogeneity in Probability Distortions?," Emory Economics 1205, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    33. Cary Deck & Jungmin Lee & Javier Reyes & Chris Rosen, 2012. "Risk-Taking Behavior: An Experimental Analysis of Individuals and Dyads," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 277-299, October.
    34. Ferdinand M. Vieider & Mathieu Lefebvre & Ranoua Bouchouicha & Thorsten Chmura & Rustamdjan Hakimov & Michal Krawczyk & Peter Martinsson, 2015. "Common Components Of Risk And Uncertainty Attitudes Across Contexts And Domains: Evidence From 30 Countries," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 421-452, June.
    35. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Choice under Risk," Working Papers 127, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jana Cahlikova & Lubomir Cingl & Ian Levely, 2017. "How Stress Affects Performance and Competitiveness across Gender," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp589, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:150:y:2018:i:c:p:182-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Lopera, Maria Adelaida & Marchand, Steeve, 2018. "Peer effects and risk-taking among entrepreneurs: Lab-in-the-field evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 182-201.
    4. Emma Boswell Dean & Frank Schilbach & Heather Schofield, 2017. "Poverty and Cognitive Function," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Poverty Traps, pages 57-118 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:kap:jrisku:v:54:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9252-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kettlewell, Nathan, 2019. "Risk preference dynamics around life events," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 66-84.
    7. Kokot, Johanna, 2017. "Does a spouse's health shock influence the partner's risk attitudes?," Ruhr Economic Papers 707, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk preferences; Risk aversion; Stress; Laboratory stressor; Trier social stress test; Cortisol;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9482-3. 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 (Mallaigh Nolan). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.