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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. Douglas DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Wilfred Uecker, 1988. "A note on the use of businessmen as subjects in sealed offer markets," Artefactual Field Experiments 00039, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  5. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  6. Plott, Charles R, 1982. "Industrial Organization Theory and Experimental Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1485-1527, December.
  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. 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.
  9. Jordi Brandts & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Arthur Schram, 2004. "How Universal is Behavior? A Four Country Comparison of Spite and Cooperation in Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(3_4), pages 381-424, 06.
  10. 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.
  11. Dyer, Douglas & Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan, 1989. "A Comparison of Naive and Experienced Bidders in Common Value Offer Auctions: A Laboratory Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 108-15, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment: Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 499-522, December.
  14. 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).
  15. Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985. "Public goods provision in an experimental environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
  16. Anderson, M.J. & Sunder, S., 1995. "Professional Traders as Intuitive Bayesians," GSIA Working Papers 1995-05, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  17. repec:feb:framed:00135 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. 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.
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