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A Microeconometric Test of Alternative Stochastic Theories of Risky Choice


  • Loomes, Graham
  • Moffatt, Peter G
  • Sugden, Robert


The random preference, Fechner (or "white noise"), and constant error (or "tremble") models of stochastic choice under risk are compared. Various combinations of these approaches are used with expected utility and rank-dependent theory. The resulting models are estimated in a random effects framework using experimental data from two samples of 46 subjects who each faced 90 pairwise choice problems. The best fitting model uses the random preference approach with a tremble mechanism, in conjunction with rank-dependent theory. As subjects gain experience, trembles become less frequent and there is less deviation from behaviour consistent with expected utility theory. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • 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 103-130, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:24:y:2002:i:2:p:103-30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, "undated". "Perceptions of Economic Insecurity: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1105-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, September.
    3. Smith, V. Kerry & Osborne, Laura L., 1996. "Do Contingent Valuation Estimates Pass a "Scope" Test? A Meta-analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 287-301, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Loewenstein, George, 1999. "Experimental Economics from the Vantage-Point of Behavioural Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 23-34, February.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


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