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Risky Choice and Type-Uncertainty in "Deal or No Deal?"

  • Gee, C.
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    This paper uses data from the popular television game-show, "Deal or No Deal?", to analyse the way individuals make choices under risk. In a unique approach to the problem, I present a formal game-theoretical model of the show in which both the contestant and the banker are modelled as strategic players. I use standard techniques to form hypotheses of how rational expected utility-maximisers would behave as players in the game and I test these hypotheses with the relevant choice data. The main result is that an increasing o¤er function is the result of optimal behaviour when the banker is uncertain about the contestant.s risk attitudes. This result provides a theoretical foundation to the empirical model of the banker that pervades the literature. Estimates of the coefficient of relative risk aversion are consistent with estimates from other studies and estimates of the discernment parameter suggest contestants have difficulty making choices.

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    Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0758.

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    Length: 24
    Date of creation: Nov 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0758
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    8. Szpiro, George G, 1986. "Measuring Risk Aversion: An Alternative Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 156-59, February.
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    16. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
    17. Metrick, Andrew, 1995. "A Natural Experiment in "Jeopardy!"," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 240-53, March.
    18. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Pavlo Blavatskyy & Ganna Pogrebna, 2006. "Risk Aversion When Gains Are Likely and Unlikely: Evidence from a Natural Experiment with Large Stakes," IEW - Working Papers 278, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    20. Rafael Tenorio & Timothy N. Cason, 2002. "To Spin or Not to Spin? Natural and Laboratory Experiments from "The Price is Right"," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 170-195, January.
    21. Gertner, Robert, 1993. "Game Shows and Economic Behavior: Risk-Taking on "Card Sharks."," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 507-21, May.
    22. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
    23. Pavlo Blavatskyy & Ganna Pogrebna, 2006. "Loss Aversion? Not with Half-a-Million on the Table!," IEW - Working Papers 274, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    24. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
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