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Attitudes towards Uncertainty and Randomization: An Experimental Study

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  • Dominiak, Adam
  • Schnedler, Wendelin

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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  • Dominiak, Adam & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2010. "Attitudes towards Uncertainty and Randomization: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 0494, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0494
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    Cited by:

    1. Stoye, Jörg, 2015. "Choice theory when agents can randomize," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 131-151.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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. Elena Cettolin & Arno Riedl, 2015. "Revealed Incomplete Preferences under Uncertainty," CESifo Working Paper Series 5359, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Dominiak, Adam & Duersch, Peter, 2015. "Benevolent and Malevolent Ellsberg Games," Working Papers 0592, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. repec:kap:jrisku:v:56:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11166-018-9273-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:wdevel:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:69-84 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Oechssler, Jörg & Roomets, Alex, 2015. "A test of mechanical ambiguity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 153-162.
    12. Dorian Beauchêne, 2016. "Solution concepts for games with ambiguous payoffs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(2), pages 245-269, February.
    13. 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.
    14. Fujii, Tomoki, 2017. "Dynamic Poverty Decomposition Analysis: An Application to the Philippines," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 69-84.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. repec:spr:joecth:v:63:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-016-0972-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. Brishti Guha, 2012. "Gambling on Genes: Ambiguity Aversion Explains Investment in Sisters’ Children," Working Papers 33-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    23. Kota Saito, 2010. "Preference for Randomization - Ambiguity Aversion and Inequality Aversion," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000094, David K. Levine.
    24. 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.
    25. Kaito Sato, 2011. "Preference for Randomization and Ambiguity Aversion," Discussion Papers 1524, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    uncertainty aversion; randomization preference; ambiguity; Choquet expected utility model; maxmin expected utility model; experiment;

    JEL classification:

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

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