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An Estimate of Risk Aversion in the U.S. Electorate


  • Berinsky, Adam J.
  • Lewis, Jeffrey B.


Recent work in political science has taken up the question of issue voting under conditions of uncertainty – situations in which voters have imperfect information about the policy positions of candidates. We move beyond the assumption of a particular spatial utility function and develop a model to estimate voters' preferences for risk. Contrary to the maintained hypothesis in the literature, voters do not appear to have the strongly risk averse preferences implied by quadratic preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Berinsky, Adam J. & Lewis, Jeffrey B., 2007. "An Estimate of Risk Aversion in the U.S. Electorate," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 139-154, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jlqjps:100.00005055

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    Cited by:

    1. Eguia, Jon X., 2008. "The Foundations of Spatial Preferences," Working Papers 08-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    2. repec:kap:pubcho:v:176:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0540-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Christopher Hare & Keith T. Poole, 2015. "Measuring ideology in Congress," Chapters,in: Handbook of Social Choice and Voting, chapter 18, pages 327-346 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Kirill Zhirkov, 2014. "New Political Issues, Niche Parties, And Spatial Voting In Multiparty Systems: Immigration As A Dimension Of Electoral Competition In Scandinavia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 12/PS/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    5. Timothy Lambie-Hanson, 2013. "Campaign contributions as valence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 3-24, October.
    6. Rothengatter, Marloes, 2016. "Insights in cognitive patterns : Essays on heuristics and identification," Other publications TiSEM 5f812a9d-8968-48b8-8d1b-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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