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Loss Aversion, Risk Aversion, and the Shape of the Probability Weighting Function

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  • Matthew D. Rablen

Abstract

Loss aversion, risk aversion, and the probability weighting function (PWF) are three central concepts in explaining decisionmaking under risk. I examine interlinkages between these concepts in a model of decisionmaking that allows for loss averse/tolerant stochastic reference dependence and optimism/pessimism over probability distributions. I give a preference interpretation to commonly observed shapes of PWF and to risk aversion. In particular, I establish a connection between loss aversion and both risk aversion and the inverse-S PWF: loss aversion is a necessary condition to observe each of these phenomena. The results extend to distinct PWFs in the gain and loss domains, as under prospect theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew D. Rablen, 2023. "Loss Aversion, Risk Aversion, and the Shape of the Probability Weighting Function," CESifo Working Paper Series 10491, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_10491
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    probability weighting; rank dependent expected utility; loss aversion; risk aversion; reference dependence; optimism; pessimism; prospect theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles

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