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Meta-Analysis of Empirical Estimates of Loss-Aversion


  • Alexander, L. Brown
  • Taisuke Imai
  • Ferdinand M. Vieider
  • Colin Camerer


Loss aversion is one of the most widely used concepts in behavioral economics. We conduct a large-scale interdisciplinary meta-analysis, to systematically accumulate knowledge from numerous empirical estimates of the loss aversion coefficient reported during the past couple of decades. We examine 607 empirical estimates of loss aversion from 150 articles in economics, psychology, neuroscience, and several other disciplines. Our analysis indicates that the mean loss aversion coefficient is between 1.8 and 2.1. We also document how reported estimates vary depending on the observable characteristics of the study design.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander, L. Brown & Taisuke Imai & Ferdinand M. Vieider & Colin Camerer, 2021. "Meta-Analysis of Empirical Estimates of Loss-Aversion," CESifo Working Paper Series 8848, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8848

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    1. repec:cup:judgdm:v:17:y:2022:i:5:p:1015-1042 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Christina Korting & Carl Lieberman & Jordan Matsudaira & Zhuan Pei & Yi Shen, 2020. "Visual Inference and Graphical Representation in Regression Discontinuity Designs," Working Papers 638, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Bleichrodt, Han & L’Haridon, Olivier, 2023. "Prospect theory’s loss aversion is robust to stake size," Judgment and Decision Making, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18, pages 1-1, January.
    4. Kpegli, Yao Thibaut & Corgnet, Brice & Zylbersztejn, Adam, 2023. "All at once! A comprehensive and tractable semi-parametric method to elicit prospect theory components," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C).
    5. Meisner, Vincent & von Wangenheim, Jonas, 2019. "School Choice and Loss Aversion," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 208, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    6. Yao Thibaut Kpegli, 2023. "Smoothing Spline Method for Measuring Prospect Theory Components," Working Papers 2303, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    7. Marcela Ibanez & Sebastian O. Schneider, 2021. "Income Risk, Precautionary Saving, and Loss Aversion – An Empirical Test," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2021_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    8. Jindrich Matousek & Tomas Havranek & Zuzana Irsova, 2022. "Individual discount rates: a meta-analysis of experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 25(1), pages 318-358, February.
    9. Vincent Meisner & Jonas von Wangenheim, 2022. "Loss aversion in strategy-proof school-choice mechanisms," Papers 2207.14666,
    10. Haim Levy & Moshe Levy, 2021. "Prospect theory, constant relative risk aversion, and the investment horizon," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(4), pages 1-21, April.
    11. repec:jdm:journl:v:17:y:2022:i:5:p:1015-1042 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Klimm, Felix & Kocher, Martin G. & Opitz, Timm & Schudy, Simeon, 2023. "Time pressure and regret in sequential search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 206(C), pages 406-424.

    More about this item


    loss aversion; prospect theory; meta-analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General

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    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Meta-Analysis in Economics


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