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Learning-by-doing in an ambiguous environment

Author

Listed:
  • Jim Engle-Warnick

    (McGill University
    CIRANO)

  • Sonia Laszlo

    () (McGill University
    CIRANO)

Abstract

Abstract How well do revealed ambiguity preferences predict how people choose to seek new information about uncertain events? In an economics experiment, we apply a new instrument to measure ambiguity preferences, and in a later session observe to what extent the measure predicts the choice to receive costly information in a learning-by-doing game. Ambiguity averse subjects are more willing to pay to receive information, while risk averse subjects are not. Holding ambiguity preferences constant, risk averse subjects tend to perform worse than risk loving subjects. The returns to experimentation, especially for ambiguity averse subjects, suggest a not-well studied but important role that ambiguity preferences play in decision-making under uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo, 2017. "Learning-by-doing in an ambiguous environment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 71-94, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:55:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9264-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11166-017-9264-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Camilo Cárdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, September.
    2. repec:kap:jrisku:v:57:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11166-018-9291-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:kap:jrisku:v:57:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11166-018-9292-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kaywana Raeburn & Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo, 2016. "Determinants of Food Consumption Choices: Experimental Evidence from St. Kitts," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-43, CIRANO.
    5. Shaun Hargreaves Heap & Daniel John Zizzo, 2011. "Emotions and chat in a financial markets experiment," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 11-11, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    6. Martin G. Kocher & Odile Poulsen & Daniel J. Zizzo, 2017. "Social preferences, accountability, and wage bargaining," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(3), pages 659-678, March.
    7. Kei Tsutsui & Daniel Zizzo, 2014. "Group status, minorities and trust," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(2), pages 215-244, June.
    8. Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion As A Predictor Of Technology Choice: Experimental Evidence From Peru," Departmental Working Papers 2007-04, McGill University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Learning-by-doing; Technology choice; Risk preferences; Risk measurement instruments; Ambiguity Aversion; Experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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