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Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A Laboratory Analysis of Investment Opportunities under Ambiguity

  • Paul Viefers
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    This paper investigates the impact of uncertainty on an irreversible investment decisions in the laboratory. Subjects own the option to seize a claim on the future sum of realizations from an (ambiguous) random walk. I contrast model predicitions of the Subjective Expected Utility model (SEU, Savage, 1954) with model predictions made by Multiple-prior Expected Utility models (MEU, Gilboa & Schmeidler, 1989; Epstein & Schneider, 2003b). I present an experimental design that allows to identify behaviorally meaningful deviations from SEU. Observed behavior is at odds with the SEU prediction. On average, subjects in a treatment group, facing an ambiguous random walk, exhibit an ambiguity premium that presents a mark-up on average reservation profits in a control group. Hence, subjects shun to expose themselves to an ambiguous payoff process and invest later than participants facing a risky payoff process.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.406494.de/dp1228.pdf
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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1228.

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    Length: 15 : Anh. p.
    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1228
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    1. Riedel, Frank, 2004. "Dynamic coherent risk measures," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 185-200, August.
    2. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
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    4. Halevy, Yoram, 2005. "Ellsberg Revisited: an Experimental Study," Microeconomics.ca working papers halevy-05-07-26-11-51-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
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    6. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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    11. Takao Asano & Hiroko Okudaira & Masaru Sasaki, 2011. "An Experimental Test of a Search Model under Knightian Uncertainty," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 11-05, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    12. Dominiak, Adam & Duersch, Peter & Lefort, Jean-Philippe, 2012. "A dynamic Ellsberg urn experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 625-638.
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