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The sensitivity of subjective probability to time and elicitation method

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  • Graham Loomes

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  • Judith Mehta

Abstract

The paper reports the results of a survey designed to elicit probability judgements for different types of events: ‘pure chance’ events, for which objective probabilities can be calculated; ‘public’ events, about which there may be some discussion in social groups and the media; and ‘personal’ events, such as those relating to crime or accidental injury. Even among respondents deemed to be ‘well-calibrated’ in the domain of pure chance events we find limited sensitivity to the ‘temporal scope’ of public and personal events—this being especially marked for personal events. We discuss possible reasons and some implications for policy-related survey work. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Graham Loomes & Judith Mehta, 2007. "The sensitivity of subjective probability to time and elicitation method," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 201-216, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:34:y:2007:i:3:p:201-216
    DOI: 10.1007/s11166-007-9012-y
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11166-007-9012-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective probability; Elicitation methods; Survey methods; Scope sensitivity; C42; C81; D84;

    JEL classification:

    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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