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Changing the Probability versus Changing the Reward

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  • David M. Bruner

Abstract

There are two means of changing the expected value of a risk: changing the probability of a reward or changing the reward. Theoretically, the former produces a greater change in expected utility for risk averse agents. This paper uses two formats of a risk preference elicitation mechanism under two decision frames to test this hypothesis. After controlling for decision error, probability weighting, and order effects, subjects, on average, are slightly risk averse and prefer an increase in the expected value of a risk due to increasing the probability over a compensated increase in the reward. There is substantial across-format inconsistency but very little within-format inconsistency at the individual level. Key Words: risk, uncertainty, experiments

Suggested Citation

  • David M. Bruner, 2009. "Changing the Probability versus Changing the Reward," Working Papers 09-04, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:09-04
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    Cited by:

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    2. Tamás Csermely & Alexander Rabas, 2016. "How to reveal people’s preferences: Comparing time consistency and predictive power of multiple price list risk elicitation methods," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 107-136, December.
    3. Dickinson, David L. & Masclet, David, 2019. "Using ethical dilemmas to predict antisocial choices with real payoff consequences: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 195-215.
    4. Holden , Stein T. & Tilahun , Mesfin, 2019. "The Devil is in the Details: Risk Preferences, Choice List Design, and Measurement Error," CLTS Working Papers 3/19, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, revised 16 Oct 2019.
    5. Banerjee, Ritwik & Mitra, Arnab, 2018. "On monetary and non-monetary interventions to combat corruption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 332-355.
    6. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin, 2016. "A theoretical and experimental appraisal of four risk elicitation methods," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(3), pages 613-641, September.
    7. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin, 2013. "A Theoretical and Experimental Appraisal of Five Risk Elicitation Methods," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 547, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Felix Holzmeister & Matthias Stefan, 2019. "The risk elicitation puzzle revisited: Across-methods (in)consistency?," Working Papers 2019-19, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    9. Arnaud Reynaud & Stéphane Couture, 2012. "Stability of risk preference measures: results from a field experiment on French farmers," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 203-221, August.
    10. Jonathan E. Alevy, 2011. "Ambiguity in Individual Choice and Market Environments: On the Importance of Comparative Ignorance," Working Papers 2011-04, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
    11. Holzmeister, Felix, 2017. "oTree: Ready-made apps for risk preference elicitation methods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 33-38.
    12. Meraner, Manuela & Musshoff, Oliver & Finger, Robert, 2018. "Using involvement to reduce inconsistencies in risk preference elicitation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 22-33.
    13. David Bruner & Caleb Cox & David M. McEvoy & Brock Stoddard, 2019. "Strategic Thinking in Contests," Working Papers 19-08, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    14. Muriel Niederle, 2014. "Gender," NBER Working Papers 20788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. David Danz & Lise Vesterlund & Alistair J. Wilson, 2020. "Belief Elicitation: Limiting Truth Telling with Information on Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 8048, CESifo.
    16. Stefan Zeisberger & Dennis Vrecko & Thomas Langer, 2012. "Measuring the time stability of Prospect Theory preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 359-386, March.
    17. Holzmeister, Felix & Stefan, Matthias, 2019. "The Risk Elicitation Puzzle Revisited: Across-Methods (In)consistency?," OSF Preprints pj9u2, Center for Open Science.
    18. Felix Holzmeister & Matthias Stefan, 2021. "The risk elicitation puzzle revisited: Across-methods (in)consistency?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 593-616, June.
    19. Antonio FILIPPIN & Paolo CROSETTO, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," Departmental Working Papers 2014-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    20. Andreas C. Drichoutis & Jayson L. Lusk, 2016. "What can multiple price lists really tell us about risk preferences?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 89-106, December.
    21. David M. Bruner, 2017. "Does decision error decrease with risk aversion?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 259-273, March.
    22. Pan He & Marcella Veronesi & Stefanie Engel, 2016. "Consistency of Risk Preference Measures and the Role of Ambiguity: An Artefactual Field Experiment from China," Working Papers 03/2016, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    23. Jonathan Chapman & Pietro Ortoleva & Erik Snowberg & Colin Camerer & Mark Dean, 2017. "Willingness-To-Pay and Willingness-To-Accept are Probably Less Correlated than You Think," CESifo Working Paper Series 6492, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    risk; uncertainty; experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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