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How politicians make decisions under risk: a political choice experiment

We report on an experimental study with real-world politicians. These political experts face political choice problems under risk and probability. Thus, we test the frequently observed violations of rational choice theory -the reference point effect, loss aversion, framing effects, and the common ratio effect- with experts from the field. Their choices violate expected utility theory. Nevertheless, they appear to be more rational and less risk averse (loving) in the domain of gains (losses) than student subjects.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2004/58.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2004_58
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  1. Plott, Charles R., . "Industrial Organization Theory and Experimental Economics," Working Papers 405, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Potters, J.J.M. & van Winden, F.A.A.M., 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment - Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Other publications TiSEM 964c6542-3994-4088-a7e6-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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  4. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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  7. Stuart Mestelman & David Feeny, 1988. "Does ideology matter?: Anecdotal experimental evidence on the voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 281-286, June.
  8. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
  9. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
  10. Dyer, D. & Kagel, J.H. & Levin, D., 1988. "A Comparison Of Naive And Experienced Bidders In Common Value Offer Auctions A Laboratory Analysis," Papers 11, Houston - Department of Economics.
  11. Jordi Brandts & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Arthur Schram, 2002. "How Universal is Behavior? A Four Country Comparison of Spite, Cooperation and Errors in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 532.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  12. Chip Heath & Steven Huddart & Mark Lang, 1999. "Psychological Factors And Stock Option Exercise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 601-627, May.
  13. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  14. repec:feb:framed:00135 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  16. Jordi Brandts & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Arthur Schram, 2003. "How Universal is Behavior? A Four Country Comparison of Spite and Cooperation in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms," Working Papers 56, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  17. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  18. Bone, John & Hey, John & Suckling, John, 1999. "Are Groups More (or Less) Consistent Than Individuals?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 63-81, April.
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