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Bayesian Decisions with Ambiguous Belief Aversion

Author

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  • Viscusi, W Kip
  • Magat, Wesley A

Abstract

This study provides an empirical perspective on the effect of ambiguous environmental risk information on lottery preferences using a sample of 646 adults. The learning process follows a Bayesian expected utility model in terms of the overall magnitude and sign of the weights that respondents place on the risk information. Significant ambiguous belief aversion that is consistent with the Ellsberg paradox is also evident. The extent of this aversion increases with the size of the risk spread, but at a decreasing rate. These results are consistent with both probability-based and preference-based models of ambiguous probabilities. The findings also indicate the presence of cognitive limitations in the processing of risk information, but lead to rejection of more extreme models in which individuals respond in alarmist fashion or do not learn at all. Copyright 1992 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Viscusi, W Kip & Magat, Wesley A, 1992. "Bayesian Decisions with Ambiguous Belief Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 371-387, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:5:y:1992:i:4:p:371-87
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    Cited by:

    1. Eyal Ert & Stefan Trautmann, 2014. "Sampling experience reverses preferences for ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 31-42, August.
    2. Alex Voorhoeve & Ken Binmore & Arnaldur Stefansson & Lisa Stewart, 2016. "Ambiguity attitudes, framing, and consistency," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 313-337, September.
    3. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L’Haridon & Dennie Dolder, 2016. "Measuring Loss Aversion under Ambiguity: A Method to Make Prospect Theory Completely Observable," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 1-20, February.
    4. Aloysius, John A., 2005. "Ambiguity aversion and the equity premium puzzle: A re-examination of experimental data on repeated gambles," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 635-655, October.
    5. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "Attitudes toward Uncertainty among the Poor: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 4225, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Ken Binmore & Lisa Stewart & Alex Voorhoeve, 2012. "How much ambiguity aversion?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 215-238, December.
    7. Joanna Ho & L. Keller & Pamela Keltyka, 2005. "How Do Information Ambiguity and Timing of Contextual Information Affect Managers’ Goal Congruence in Making Investment Decisions in Good Times vs. Bad Times?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 163-186, September.
    8. Michael Hoy & Richard Peter & Andreas Richter, 2014. "Take-up for genetic tests and ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 111-133, April.
    9. Venkatraman, Srinivasan & Aloysius, John A. & Davis, Fred D., 2006. "Multiple prospect framing and decision behavior: The mediational roles of perceived riskiness and perceived ambiguity," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 59-73, September.
    10. Laure Cabantous & Denis Hilton & Howard Kunreuther & Erwann Michel-Kerjan, 2011. "Is imprecise knowledge better than conflicting expertise? Evidence from insurers’ decisions in the United States," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 211-232, June.
    11. Aurélien Baillon & Laure Cabantous & Peter Wakker, 2012. "Aggregating imprecise or conflicting beliefs: An experimental investigation using modern ambiguity theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 115-147, April.
    12. Cameron, Trudy Ann, 2005. "Individual option prices for climate change mitigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 283-301, February.
    13. Stefan Trautmann & Ferdinand Vieider & Peter Wakker, 2008. "Causes of ambiguity aversion: Known versus unknown preferences," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 225-243, June.
    14. Trudy Cameron, 2005. "Updating Subjective Risks in the Presence of Conflicting Information: An Application to Climate Change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 63-97, January.
    15. Stefan T. Trautmann & Gijs Kuilen, 2016. "Process fairness, outcome fairness, and dynamic consistency: Experimental evidence for risk and ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 75-88, December.
    16. Harrell Chesson & W. Viscusi, 2003. "Commonalities in Time and Ambiguity Aversion for Long-Term Risks ," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 57-71, February.
    17. Kelly, David L. & Letson, David & Nelson, Forrest & Nolan, David S. & Solís, Daniel, 2012. "Evolution of subjective hurricane risk perceptions: A Bayesian approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 644-663.
    18. Freitas, Luiz & Wagner, Jeffrey, 2009. "The uncertain moral context of price changes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1100-1105, February.
    19. Irma Machielse & Danielle Timmermans & Peter Wakker, 2007. "The effects of statistical information on risk ambiguity attitudes, and on rational insurance decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00338, The Field Experiments Website.
    20. repec:kap:jrisku:v:54:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9260-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Bozzoli, Carlos & Müller, Cathérine, 2011. "Perceptions and attitudes following a terrorist shock: Evidence from the UK," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(S1), pages 89-106.
    22. Fumihiro Yamane & Kyohei Matsushita & Toshio Fujimi & Hideaki Ohgaki & Kota Asano, 2014. "A Simple Way to Elicit Subjective Ambiguity: Application to Low-dose Radiation Exposure in Fukushima," Discussion Papers 1417, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    23. Peter P. Wakker & Daniëlle R. M. Timmermans & Irma Machielse, 2007. "The Effects of Statistical Information on Risk and Ambiguity Attitudes, and on Rational Insurance Decisions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(11), pages 1770-1784, November.
    24. 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.
    25. Melkonyan, Tigran A., 2011. "The Effect of Communicating Ambiguous Risk Information on Choice," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(2), August.

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