Experimental Economics and the Theory of Decision Making Under Risk and Uncertainty
Following a brief review of the main experimental work into the economics of risk and uncertainty, both static and dynamic, this paper reports the results of an experiment testing one of the key assumptions of the theory of dynamic economic behaviour—that people have a plan and implement it. Using a unique design which enables the plan (if one exists) to be revealed by the first move, the experiment was implemented via the Internet on a subset of the University of Tilburg's ongoing family expenditure survey panel. The advantages of using such a set of subjects for the experiment are twofold: the demographic characteristics of the set are known and therefore demographic inferences can be made; the representativeness of the set is known and therefore inferences about populations can be made. The results suggest that at least 36% of the subjects had behaviour inconsistent with the hypothesis under test: that people formulate plans and then implement them. Interestingly demographic variables are unable to explain the consistency or inconsistency of individuals. One conclusion is that subjects simply make errors. An alternative conclusion, consistent with previous experimental research, is that people are unable to predict their own future decisions. The implications for dynamic theory (particularly relating to savings and pensions decisions) are important. The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory (2002) 27, 5–21. doi:10.1023/A:1020634723329
Volume (Year): 27 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK|
Web: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/pal/subscribe/index.html Email:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:genrir:v:27:y:2002:i:1:p:5-21. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Iulia Badea)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.