IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jrisku/v35y2007i1p67-76.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Risk aversion and expected-utility theory: A calibration exercise

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Schechter

    ()

Abstract

Rabin (Econometrica 68(5):1281–1292, 2000 ) argues that, under expected-utility, observed risk aversion over modest stakes implies extremely high risk aversion over large stakes. Cox and Sadiraj (Games Econom. Behav. 56(1):45–60, 2006 ) have replied that this is a problem of expected-utility of wealth, but that expected-utility of income does not share that problem. We combine experimental data on moderate-scale risky choices with survey data on income to estimate coefficients of relative risk aversion using expected-utility of consumption. Assuming individuals cannot save implies an average coefficient of relative risk aversion of 1.92. Assuming they can decide between consuming today and saving for the future, a realistic assumption, implies quadruple-digit coefficients. This gives empirical evidence for narrow bracketing. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Schechter, 2007. "Risk aversion and expected-utility theory: A calibration exercise," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 67-76, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:35:y:2007:i:1:p:67-76
    DOI: 10.1007/s11166-007-9017-6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11166-007-9017-6
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
    3. David K. Levine & Drew Fudenberg, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1449-1476, December.
    4. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    5. Cox, James C. & Sadiraj, Vjollca, 2006. "Small- and large-stakes risk aversion: Implications of concavity calibration for decision theory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 45-60, July.
    6. Schechter, Laura, 2007. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural Paraguay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 272-292, February.
    7. Alma Cohen & Liran Einav, 2007. "Estimating Risk Preferences from Deductible Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 745-788, June.
    8. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    9. Zeckhauser, Richard & Keeler, Emmett, 1970. "Another Type of Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(5), pages 661-665, September.
    10. Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio & Serrano, Roberto, 2006. "Rejecting small gambles under expected utility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 250-259, May.
    11. Binswanger, Hans P, 1981. "Attitudes toward Risk: Theoretical Implications of an Experiment in Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 867-890, December.
    12. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    13. 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.
    14. Richard Watt, 2002. "Defending Expected Utility Theory: Comment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 227-229, Spring.
    15. Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2001. "Anomalies: Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 219-232, Winter.
    16. Donkers, Bas & Melenberg, Bertrand & Van Soest, Arthur, 2001. "Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries: A Large Sample Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 165-195, March.
    17. Robert Gertner, 1993. "Game Shows and Economic Behavior: Risk-Taking on "Card Sharks"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 507-521.
    18. Donald Meyer & Jack Meyer, 2005. "Relative Risk Aversion: What Do We Know?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 243-262, December.
    19. Gollier, Christian & Pratt, John W, 1996. "Risk Vulnerability and the Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1109-1123, September.
    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. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey P. Carpenter, 2005. "Experiments and Economic Development: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0505, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    2. Galarza, Francisco, 2009. "Choices under Risk in Rural Peru," MPRA Paper 17708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:jbfina:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:15-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fafchamps, Marcel & Kebede, Bereket & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2015. "Keep up with the winners: Experimental evidence on risk taking, asset integration, and peer effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 59-79.
    5. Zhang, Le & Kono, Yasuyuki & Kobayashi, Shigeo, 2014. "The process of expansion in commercial banana cropping in tropical China: A case study at a Dai village, Mengla County," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 32-38.
    6. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2010. "Risk aversion and expected utility of consumption over time," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 208-219, January.
    7. Carvalho, Leandro S. & Prina, Silvia & Sydnor, Justin, 2016. "The effect of saving on risk attitudes and intertemporal choices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 41-52.
    8. Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2010. "Is the veil of ignorance only a concept about risk? An experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1062-1066, December.
    9. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2007. "Reference-Dependent Risk Attitudes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1047-1073, September.
    10. Elena Vigna, 2009. "Mean-variance inefficiency of CRRA and CARA utility functions for portfolio selection in defined contribution pension schemes," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 108, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2009.
    11. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:447-466 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Mitchell, Paul D. & Knight, Thomas O., 2008. "Economic Analysis of Supplemental Deductible Coverage as Recommended in the USDA's 2007 Farm Bill Proposal," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(01), pages 117-131, April.
    13. Lisa Cameron & Manisha Shah, 2015. "Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 484-515.
    14. Menachem Brenner & Yehuda Izhakian, 2011. "Asset Priving and Ambiguity: Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 11-10, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    15. Heinemann, Frank, 2005. "Measuring Risk Aversion and the Wealth Effect," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 156, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    16. Adriana Piazza & Bernardo Pagnoncelli, 2015. "The stochastic Mitra–Wan forestry model: risk neutral and risk averse cases," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 175-194, June.
    17. Elena Vigna, 2009. "Mean-variance inefficiency of CRRA and CARA utility functions for portfolio selection in defined contribution pension schemes," CeRP Working Papers 89, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    18. Stefan Zeisberger & Dennis Vrecko & Thomas Langer, 2012. "Measuring the time stability of Prospect Theory preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 359-386, March.
    19. Booij, Adam S. & van Praag, Bernard M.S., 2009. "A simultaneous approach to the estimation of risk aversion and the subjective time discount rate," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 374-388, May.
    20. repec:eee:ecolet:v:160:y:2017:i:c:p:24-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. AJ A. Bostian & Christoph Heinzel, 2016. "Consumption Smoothing and Precautionary Saving under Recursive Preferences," FOODSECURE Working papers 44, LEI Wageningen UR.
    22. Isabel Günther & Johannes K. Maier, 2014. "Poverty, Vulnerability, and Reference-Dependent Utility," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(1), pages 155-181, March.
    23. Ferruzzi, Gabriella & Cervone, Guido & Delle Monache, Luca & Graditi, Giorgio & Jacobone, Francesca, 2016. "Optimal bidding in a Day-Ahead energy market for Micro Grid under uncertainty in renewable energy production," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 194-202.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expected utility theory; Asset integration; Risk aversion; Experiments; Paraguay; D01; D81; O1; C93;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

    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:jrisku:v:35:y:2007:i:1:p:67-76. 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). 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.