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Do monetary incentives and chained questions affect the validity of risk estimates elicited via the Exchangeability Method? An experimental investigation


  • Cerroni, Simone
  • Notaro, Sandra
  • Shaw, W. Douglass


Using a laboratory experiment, we investigate the validity of stated risks elicited via the Exchangeability Method (EM) using an evaluation method based on de Finetti’s notion of coherence, under which probability estimates are valid if and only if they obey all axioms of probability theory. The validity of risk estimates elicited through the EM has been theoretically questioned because the chained structure of the game is thought to potentially undermine the incentive compatibility of the elicitation mechanism even when real monetary incentives are provided. We investigate this by designing and implementing four experimental treatments. Respondents are divided in two initial treatment groups: in the first, they are provided with real monetary incentives, and in the second, subjects are not. Each group is further sub-divided in two treatment groups, in the first, the chained structure of the experimental design made quite clear to the subjects, while, in the second, the chained structure is hidden by resorting the elicitation questions. The superiority of real monetary incentives is not evident when people are presented with chained experimental design.

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  • Cerroni, Simone & Notaro, Sandra & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2012. "Do monetary incentives and chained questions affect the validity of risk estimates elicited via the Exchangeability Method? An experimental investigation," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125468, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:125468

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    2. Chew Soo Hong & Jacob S. Sagi, 2006. "Event Exchangeability: Probabilistic Sophistication Without Continuity or Monotonicity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 771-786, May.
    3. Steffen Andersen & John Fountain & Glenn Harrison & E. Rutström, 2014. "Estimating subjective probabilities," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 207-229, June.
    4. Glenn W Harrison & John A List & Charles Towe, 2007. "Naturally Occurring Preferences and Exogenous Laboratory Experiments: A Case Study of Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 433-458, March.
    5. Jakus, Paul M. & Shaw, W. Douglass & Nguyen, To N. & Walker, Mark, 2009. "Risk Perceptions of Arsenic in Tap Water and Consumption of Bottled Water," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49221, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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    7. Theo Offerman & Joep Sonnemans & Gijs Van De Kuilen & Peter P. Wakker, 2009. "A Truth Serum for Non-Bayesians: Correcting Proper Scoring Rules for Risk Attitudes ," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1461-1489.
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    10. Fiore, Stephen M. & Harrison, Glenn W. & Hughes, Charles E. & Rutstrm, E. Elisabet, 2009. "Virtual experiments and environmental policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 65-86, January.
    11. Riddel, Mary C. & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2006. "A Theoretically-Consistent Empirical Non-Expected Utility Model of Ambiguity: Nuclear Waste Mortality Risk and Yucca Mountain," Pre-Prints 23964, Texas A&M University, Department of Agricultural Economics.
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    15. Cerroni, Simone & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2012. "Does climate change information affect stated risks of pine beetle impacts on forests? An application of the exchangeability method," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 72-84.
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    18. Justin Baker & W. Douglass Shaw & Mary Riddel & Richard T. Woodward, 2009. "Changes in subjective risks of hurricanes as time passes: analysis of a sample of Katrina evacuees," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 59-74, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Menapace, Luisa & Colson, Gregory & Raffaelli, Roberta, 2012. "Cognitive Heuristics and Farmers’ Perceptions of Risks Related to Climate Change," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124770, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    Risk elicitation; Exchangeability; Validity; Pesticide residue; Apples; Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Risk and Uncertainty; C44; D81; I10;

    JEL classification:

    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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