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Variation in risk seeking behavior in a natural experiment on large losses induced by a natural disaster

Author

Listed:
  • Lionel Page
  • David Savage
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

This study explores people's risk attitudes after having suffered large real-world losses following a natural disaster. Using the margins of the 2011 Australian oods (Brisbane) as a natural experimental setting, we find that homeowners who were victims of the floods and face large losses in property values are 50% more likely to opt for a risky gamble - a scratch card giving a small chance of a large gain ($500,000) - than for a sure amount of comparable value ($10). This finding is consistent with prospect theory predictions of the adoption of a risk-seeking attitude after a loss.

Suggested Citation

  • Lionel Page & David Savage & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Variation in risk seeking behavior in a natural experiment on large losses induced by a natural disaster," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2012-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decision under risk; large losses; natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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