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Heterogeneous ambiguity attitudes: a field experiment among small-scale stock investors in China

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  • Elizabeth Potamites

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  • Bei Zhang

    ()

Abstract

We conducted quasi-field experiments in Chinese brokerage houses to investigate how investors react to ambiguity relative to quantifiable risks and the degree of heterogeneity in these reactions. Our experiment consists of three sections; a background survey; individual self-reports of emotional states; and a series of individual portfolio choice questions involving ambiguous assets and assets with a known probability of success. We calculate an index of ambiguity aversion that controls for risk aversion through a series of simple choices and demonstrate its outside validity. We find a significant degree of heterogeneity in ambiguity attitudes and discuss some demographic or emotional factors that might contribute to this heterogeneity. We also discuss the correlation between ambiguity attitudes and risk attitudes. By conducting these experiments in China, we were able to measure the degree of ambiguity aversion among a sample of experienced and accessible investors who face ambiguous decisions on a daily basis. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Potamites & Bei Zhang, 2012. "Heterogeneous ambiguity attitudes: a field experiment among small-scale stock investors in China," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(2), pages 193-213, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:reecde:v:16:y:2012:i:2:p:193-213
    DOI: 10.1007/s10058-012-0125-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion as a Predictor of Technology Choice: Experimental Evidence from Peru," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-01, CIRANO.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Baillon, Aurélien & Koellinger, Philipp D. & Treffers, Theresa, 2016. "Sadder but wiser: The effects of emotional states on ambiguity attitudes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 67-82.
    2. Jeleva, Meglena & Tallon, Jean-Marc, 2016. "Ambiguïté, comportements et marchés financiers," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 92(1-2), pages 351-383, Mars-Juin.
    3. David Bardey & Philippe De Donder & Cesar Mantilla, 2014. "Adverse Selection vs Discrimination Risk with Genetic Testing. An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 5080, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Kellner, Christian, 2015. "Tournaments as a response to ambiguity aversion in incentive contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 627-655.
    5. Meglena Jeleva & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2016. "Ambiguïté, comportements et marchés financiers," Post-Print halshs-01109639, HAL.
    6. Marco Rojas & Damián Vergara, 2018. "Ambiguity and Long-Run Cooperation in Strategic Games," Working Papers wp415, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:khe:scajes:v:3:y:2017:i:3:p:38-46 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity attitudes; Ambiguity aversion; Field experiment; Individual investors; D81; C93; G02;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles

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