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Paying to Improve Your Chances: Gambling or Insurance?

Author

Listed:
  • McGuire, Martin C
  • Pratt, John
  • Zeckhauser, Richard

Abstract

Will a more risk-averse individual spend more or less to improve probabilities, say on marketing efforts that enhance the chance of a sale? For any two payoffs and starting probabilities, the answer is unfortunately indeterminate. However, interpreting gambling as increasing small chances of good outcomes and insurance as reducing small chances of bad outcomes, the more risk-averse individual will pay less (more) to gamble (insure). The authors find a critical "switching probability that depends on the individuals and outcomes involved. If the good outcome is less (more) likely than this critical value, the expenditures represent gambling (insurance). Copyright 1991 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • McGuire, Martin C & Pratt, John & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1991. "Paying to Improve Your Chances: Gambling or Insurance?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 329-338, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:4:y:1991:i:4:p:329-38
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jinkwon Lee, 2008. "The effect of the background risk in a simple chance improving decision model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 19-41, February.
    2. Chuang, O-Chia & Eeckhoudt, Louis & Huang, Rachel J. & Tzeng, Larry Y., 2013. "Risky targets and effort," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 465-468.
    3. Toshihiro Ihori & Martin McGuireb, 2008. "National Adversity: Managing Insurance and Protection," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-554, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    4. F. McElroy, 2007. "“Probability of risk aversion” and other applications of derivatives of the certainty equivalent," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 54(4), pages 429-444, December.
    5. Toshihiro Ihori & Martin McGuire, 2006. "Patterns of Non-exponential Growth of Macroeconomic Models: Two-parameter Poisson-Dirichlet Models," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-450, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    6. Martin McGuire, 2006. "Uncertainty, Risk Aversion, And Optimal Defense Against Interruptions In Supply," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 287-309.
    7. Martin McGuire & Gary Becker, 2006. "Reversal Of Misfortune When Providing For Adversity," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(6), pages 619-643.
    8. Cristina OTTAVIANI & Daniela VANDONE, 2011. "Decision-making under uncertainty and demand for insurance: an empirical study," Departmental Working Papers 2011-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    9. Tim Lohse & Julio R. Robledo & Ulrich Schmidt, 2012. "Self‐Insurance and Self‐Protection as Public Goods," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(1), pages 57-76, March.
    10. Liqun Liu & Andrew Rettenmaier & Thomas Saving, 2009. "Conditional payments and self-protection," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 159-172, April.
    11. TOSHIHIRO IHORI & MARTIN C. McGUIRE, 2007. "Collective Risk Control and Group Security: The Unexpected Consequences of Differential Risk Aversion," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(2), pages 231-263, April.
    12. Eeckhoudt, L. & Godfroid, Ph. & Gollier, C., 1997. "Willingness to pay, the risk premium and risk aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 355-360, September.
    13. Louis Eeckhoudt & Philippe Godfroid, 1998. "The market value of preventive activities: A contingent-claims approach," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 27-38, February.
    14. Toshihiro Ihori & Martin McGuire, 2010. "National self-insurance and self-protection against adversity: bureaucratic management of security and moral hazard," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 103-122, April.
    15. Toshihiro Ihori & Martin McGuire, 2006. "Group Provision Against Adversity: Security By Insurance vs. Protection," CARF F-Series CARF-F-086, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    16. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2005:i:6:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Loïc Berger, 2011. "Does Ambiguity Aversion Raise the Optimal Level of Effort? A Two-Period Model," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    18. Jindapon, Paan, 2013. "Do risk lovers invest in self-protection?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 290-293.
    19. Benoît Sévi & Fabrice Yafil, 2005. "A special case of self-protection: The choice of a lawyer," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(6), pages 1-8.
    20. Liu, Liqun & Neilson, William S., 2006. "Endogenous private safety investment and the willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 2063-2074, November.
    21. Chiu, W.Henry, 2005. "Degree of downside risk aversion and self-protection," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 93-101, February.

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