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Attitudes toward uncertainty and randomization: an experimental study

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  • Adam Dominiak
  • Wendelin Schnedler

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Abstract

Individuals exhibit a randomization preference if they prefer random mixtures of two bets to each of the involved bets. Such preferences provide the foundation of various models of uncertainty aversion. However, it has to our knowledge not been empirically investigated whether uncertainty-averse decision makers indeed exhibit such preferences. Here, we examine the relationship experimentally. We find that uncertainty aversion is not positively associated with randomization preferences. Moreover, we observe choices that are not consistent with the prevailing theories of uncertainty aversion: a non-negligible number of uncertain-averse subjects seem to dislike randomization.
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Suggested Citation

  • Adam Dominiak & Wendelin Schnedler, 2011. "Attitudes toward uncertainty and randomization: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 48(2), pages 289-312, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:48:y:2011:i:2:p:289-312
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-011-0649-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Attanasi & Aldo Montesano, 2010. "The Price for Information about Probabilities and its Relation with Capacities," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 031, University of Siena.
    2. David Kelsey & Sara Roux, 2015. "An experimental study on the effect of ambiguity in a coordination game," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 79(4), pages 667-688, December.
    3. Kaito Sato, 2011. "Preference for Randomization and Ambiguity Aversion," Discussion Papers 1524, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. King Li, 2011. "Preference towards control in risk taking: Control, no control, or randomize?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 39-63, August.
    5. Dominiak, Adam & Duersch, Peter, 2015. "Benevolent and Malevolent Ellsberg Games," Working Papers 0592, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    6. Dorian Beauchêne, 2016. "Solution concepts for games with ambiguous payoffs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(2), pages 245-269, February.
    7. Oechssler, Jörg & Roomets, Alex, 2015. "A test of mechanical ambiguity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 153-162.
    8. Michele Lombardi & Naoki Yoshihara, 2013. "A full characterization of nash implementation with strategy space reduction," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(1), pages 131-151, September.
    9. Giuseppe Attanasi & Aldo Montesano, 2012. "The price for information about probabilities and its relation with risk and ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 125-160, July.
    10. Brishti Guha, 2012. "Gambling on Genes: Ambiguity Aversion Explains Investment in Sisters’ Children," Working Papers 33-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    11. Jürgen Eichberger & Simon Grant & David Kelsey, 2016. "Randomization and dynamic consistency," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(3), pages 547-566, August.
    12. Vassili Vergopoulos, 2011. "Dynamic consistency for non-expected utility preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 48(2), pages 493-518, October.
    13. Daniel Krähmer & Rebecca Stone, 2013. "Anticipated regret as an explanation of uncertainty aversion," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(2), pages 709-728, March.
    14. repec:spr:joecth:v:63:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-016-0972-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Elena Cettolin & Arno Riedl, 2015. "Revealed Incomplete Preferences under Uncertainty," CESifo Working Paper Series 5359, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. repec:eee:wdevel:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:69-84 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Fujii, Tomoki, 2017. "Dynamic Poverty Decomposition Analysis: An Application to the Philippines," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 69-84.
    18. Paul J. Healy & Yaron Azrieli & Christopher P. Chambers, 2016. "Incentives in Experiments: A Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers 16-03, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    19. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci, 2017. "Mixed extensions of decision problems under uncertainty," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 63(4), pages 827-866, April.
    20. Stoye, Jörg, 2015. "Choice theory when agents can randomize," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 131-151.
    21. Sujoy Mukerji & Robin Cubitt & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2014. "Discriminating between Models of Ambiguity Attitude: A Qualitative Test," Economics Series Working Papers 692, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    22. repec:kap:jrisku:v:56:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11166-018-9273-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Kauffeldt, T. Florian, 2016. "Strategic behavior of non-expected utility players in games with payoff uncertainty," Working Papers 0614, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    24. Kota Saito, 2010. "Preference for Randomization - Ambiguity Aversion and Inequality Aversion," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000094, David K. Levine.
    25. Leandro Nascimento & Gil Riella, 2013. "Second-order ambiguous beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(3), pages 1005-1037, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uncertainty aversion; Preference for randomization; Ambiguity; Non-expected utility models; D8; C91;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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