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Choices at various levels of uncertainty: An experimental test of the restated diversification theorem


  • Ali Ahmed


  • Göran Skogh



Our “Restated diversification theorem” (Skogh and Wu, 2005) says that risk-averse agents may pool risks efficiently without assignment of subjective probabilities to outcomes, also at genuine uncertainty. It suffices that the agents presume that they face equal risks. Here, the theorem is tested in an experiment where the probability of loss, and the information about this probability, varies. The result supports our theorem. Moreover, it tentatively supports an evolutionary theory of the insurance industry—starting with mutual pooling at uncertainty, turning into insurance priced ex ante when actuarial information is available. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Ali Ahmed & Göran Skogh, 2006. "Choices at various levels of uncertainty: An experimental test of the restated diversification theorem," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 183-196, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:33:y:2006:i:3:p:183-196 DOI: 10.1007/s11166-006-0332-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Sarin, Rakesh K & Winkler, Robert L, 1992. "Ambiguity and Decision Modeling: A Preference-Based Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 389-407, October.
    3. Bernasconi, Michele, 1992. "Different Frames for the Independence Axiom: An Experimental Investigation in Individual Decision Making under Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 159-174, May.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1980. "A Rehabilitation of the Principle of Insufficient Reason," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(3), pages 493-506.
    5. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. "Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-370, October.
    6. Goeran Skogh, 1999. "Risk-Sharing Institutions for Unpredictable Losses," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(3), pages 505-505, September.
    7. Michael G Faure & Göran Skogh, 1992. "Compensation for Damages Caused by Nuclear Accidents: A Convention as Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 17(4), pages 499-513, October.
    8. Viscusi, W Kip, 1989. "Prospective Reference Theory: Toward an Explanation of the Paradoxes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 235-263, September.
    9. Camerer, Colin & Kunreuther, Howard, 1989. "Experimental Markets for Insurance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 265-299, September.
    10. W. Viscusi & Harrell Chesson, 1999. "Hopes and Fears: the Conflicting Effects of Risk Ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 157-184, October.
    11. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dmitri Vinogradov & Yousef Makhlouf, 2017. "Signaling Probabilities in Ambiguity: on the impact of vague news," Working Papers 2017_12, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    2. Johannes G. Jaspersen, 2016. "Hypothetical Surveys And Experimental Studies Of Insurance Demand: A Review," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 83(1), pages 217-255, January.
    3. Ali Ahmed, 2007. "Decisions under unpredictable losses: An examination of the restated diversification principle," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 2, pages 312-316, October.


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