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The "Bomb" Risk Elicitation Task

  • Paolo Crosetto
  • Antonio Filippin

This paper presents the Bomb Risk Elicitation Task (BRET), an intuitive procedure aimed at measuring risk attitudes. Subjects decide how many boxes to collect out of 100, one of which containing a bomb. Earnings increase linearly with the number of boxes accumulated but are zero if the bomb is also collected. The BRET requires minimal numeracy skills, avoids truncation of the data, allows to precisely estimate both risk aversion and risk seeking, and is not affected by the degree of loss aversion or by violations of the Reduction Axiom. We validate the BRET and test its robustness in a large-scale experiment, although the task can be performed in the field as well. Choices react significantly to the stakes and to the size of the choice set. Our experiment rationalizes the gender gap that often characterizes choices under uncertainty by means of a higher loss rather than risk aversion.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.413285.de/diw_sp0517.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 517.

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Length: 29 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp517
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  1. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin, 2013. "A Theoretical and Experimental Appraisal of Five Risk Elicitation Methods," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Grether, David M & Plott, Charles R, 1979. "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 623-38, September.
  3. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2002. "Sex Differences and Statistical Stereotyping in Attitudes Toward Financial Risk," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  4. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
  5. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: New Data without Order Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 902-912, June.
  6. Gneezy, Uri & Potters, Jan, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-45, May.
  7. Peter Wakker & Daniel Deneffe, 1996. "Eliciting von Neumann-Morgenstern Utilities When Probabilities Are Distorted or Unknown," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1131-1150, August.
  8. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez & Melanie Parravano, 2010. "The lottery-panel task for bi-dimensional parameter-free elicitation of risk attitudes," ThE Papers 10/12, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  9. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  10. Charness, Gary & Viceisza, Angelino, 2012. "Comprehension and Risk Elicitation in the Field: Evidence from Rural Senegal," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt5512d150, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  11. Chetan Dave & Catherine Eckel & Cathleen Johnson & Christian Rojas, 2010. "Eliciting risk preferences: When is simple better?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 219-243, December.
  12. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. ""Preference Reversal' and the Observability of Preferences by Experimental Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 675-85, May.
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  17. Lise Vesterlund & Bill Harbaugh & Kate Krause, 2005. "The Fourfold Pattern of Risk Attitudes in Choice and Pricing Tasks," Working Papers 268, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
  18. Harrison, Glenn W, 1990. "Risk Attitudes in First-Price Auction Experiments: A Bayesian Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 541-46, August.
  19. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  20. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2012. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 50-58.
  21. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, 06.
  22. Ann-Renée Blais & Elke U. Weber, 2006. "A Domain-Specific Risk-Taking (DOSPERT)Scale for Adult Populations," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-24, CIRANO.
  23. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Forecasting Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Study Using Actual and Forecast Gamble Choices," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-01, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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  26. Booij, Adam S. & van de Kuilen, Gijs, 2009. "A parameter-free analysis of the utility of money for the general population under prospect theory," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 651-666, August.
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  29. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2011. "Individual risk attitudes: Measurement, determinants, and behavioral consequences," Munich Reprints in Economics 20048, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  32. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
  33. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez & Melanie Parravano, 2010. "The SGG risk elicitation task:Implementation and results," ThE Papers 10/07, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  34. Glenn W. Harrison & J. Todd Swarthout, 2012. "The Independence Axiom and the Bipolar Behaviorist," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-01, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  35. 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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