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When a risky prospect is valued more than its best possible outcome

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas C. Drichoutis

    () (Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens)

  • Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr.

    () (Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, University of Arkansas)

  • Jayson L. Lusk

    () (Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University)

  • Panagiotis Lazaridis

    () (Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens)

Abstract

In this paper, we document a violation of normative and descriptive models of decision making under risk. In contrast to uncertainty effects found by Gneezy, List and Wu (2006), some subjects in our experiments valued certain lotteries more than the best possible outcome. We show that the likelihood of observing this effect is positively related to the probability of winning the lottery and negatively related to the value of the maximum outcome. We also demonstrate that this effect can be partially attributed to subjects’ competitiveness and level of comprehension of the lottery mechanism; the competitiveness effects far outweighing comprehension effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr. & Jayson L. Lusk & Panagiotis Lazaridis, 2009. "When a risky prospect is valued more than its best possible outcome," Working Papers 2009-12, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:aua:wpaper:2009-12
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2010. "Fairness and desert in tournaments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 346-364, July.
    2. Shogren, Jason F. & Cho, Sungwon & Koo, Cannon & List, John & Park, Changwon & Polo, Pablo & Wilhelmi, Robert, 2001. "Auction mechanisms and the measurement of WTP and WTA," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 97-109, April.
    3. David M. Grether & James C. Cox, 1996. "The preference reversal phenomenon: Response mode, markets and incentives (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(3), pages 381-405.
    4. DavidJ. Cooper & Hanming Fang, 2008. "Understanding Overbidding In Second Price Auctions: An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1572-1595, October.
    5. Uri Gneezy & John A. List & George Wu, 2006. "The Uncertainty Effect: When a Risky Prospect is Valued Less than its Worst Possible Outcome," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1283-1309.
    6. Jay R. Corrigan & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Jayson L. Lusk & Rodolfo M. Nayga & Matthew C. Rousu, 2012. "Repeated Rounds with Price Feedback in Experimental Auction Valuation: An Adversarial Collaboration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(1), pages 97-115.
    7. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
    8. Ondřej Rydval & Andreas Ortmann & Sasha Prokosheva & Ralph Hertwig, 2009. "How certain is the uncertainty effect?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(4), pages 473-487, December.
    9. Grether, David M & Plott, Charles R, 1979. "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 623-638, September.
    10. Lusk,Jayson L. & Shogren,Jason F., 2007. "Experimental Auctions," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671248, May.
    11. Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 897-901, June.
    12. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: New Data without Order Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 902-912, June.
    13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    lottery; risk; competitiveness; Vickrey auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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