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Estimates of Own Lethal Risks and Anchoring Effects


  • Olivier Armantier


The paper reports on an experiment testing whether agents perceive correctly the lethal risks they face personally. The results suggest that subjects exhibit comparable biases when making predictions for their own-age-cohort, or for the entire population (i.e. agents overestimate rare risks, and under-estimate common risks). The hypothesis that agents have better knowledge of their own risks, however, cannot be dismissed entirely, as responses in the own-age-cohort survey are more homogenous and better ordered. Finally, it is shown that administering surveys in succession can generate anchoring effects, which may explain why our conclusions differ markedly from a previous study. Ce papier rapporte les résultats d'une expérience qui cherchait à tester si les individus percevaient correctement les risques mortels auxquels ils font face personnellement. Les résultats suggèrent que la perception des sujets est autant biaisée lorsqu'ils font des prédictions pour leur propre groupe d'âge ou pour la population entière (c'est-à-dire que les individus surestiment les risques rares, et sous-estiment les risques les plus communs). Cependant, l'hypothèse que les individus possèdent une meilleure connaissance de leurs propres risques ne peut être écartée complètement puisque les réponses du sondage sur leur propre groupe d'âge sont plus homogènes et mieux ordonnées. Finalement, nous démontrons que l'administration des sondages en série a pu générer des effets d'ancrage (anchoring effects) qui pourraient expliquer le fait que nos conclusions diffèrent sensiblement d'une étude précédente.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Armantier, 2006. "Estimates of Own Lethal Risks and Anchoring Effects," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-14, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2006s-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Henrik Andersson & Petter Lundborg, 2007. "Perception of own death risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 67-84, February.
    2. David Aadland & Arthur Caplan & Owen Phillips, 2007. "A Bayesian examination of information and uncertainty in contingent valuation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 149-178, October.
    3. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Thomas Post & Katja Hanewald, 2010. "Stochastic Mortality, Subjective Survival Expectations, and Individual Saving Behavior," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    5. Andersson, Henrik, 2008. "Perception of Own Death Risk: A Reassessment of Road-Traffic Mortality Risk," Working Papers 2008:11, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
    6. Andersson, Henrik & Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Perception of Own Death Risk: An Analysis of Road-Traffic and Overall Mortality Risks," Working Papers 2006:1, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).

    More about this item


    anchoring; health and safety hazard; rational expectation; risks perception; effet d'ancrage; espérance rationnelle; perception des risques; risques pour la santé et la sécurité;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments

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