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The Utility of Gambling

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  • Conlisk, John

Abstract

A tiny utility of gambling is appended to an expected utility model for a risk-averse individual. It is shown that the model can explain small payoff gambles, large prize lotteries, and patterns of risk-seeking in the experimental evidence that are puzzling from the viewpoint of standard theory. At the same time, the model maintains expected utility theory's ability to explain insurance purchase, portfolio diversification, and other risk-averting behavior. The tiny utility of gambling could equally well be appended to models of risky choice other than the expected utility model. Copyright 1993 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Conlisk, John, 1993. "The Utility of Gambling," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 255-275, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:6:y:1993:i:3:p:255-75
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    2. Young Chin Kim, 1973. "Choice in the Lottery-Insurance Situation Augmented-Income Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 148-156.
    3. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-154, Summer.
    4. Camerer, Colin F, 1989. "An Experimental Test of Several Generalized Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 61-104, April.
    5. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. "Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
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