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Risk Attitudes and Choice under Uncertainty: Experimental Evidence from Russia

  • Belianin Alexis

    ()

This paper presents the results of one of the first experimental studies of individual choice in transitional Russia. The study is based on two standard types of experimental design: on risk attitudes via individual preferences over two-outcome lotteries, and on public good provision under voluntary contribution mechanism. By comparing preferences exhibited by 186 Moscow students to those observed elsewhere in the world, the author attempted to test claims that the Russian national character and/or years of socialist experience causes individual behavior to deviate from "normal" patterns. Both series of results turned out to be remarkably similar to the basic patterns exhibited in analogous studies abroad. However, public choice experiments showed that contribution rates typically increased in proportion to the share of female bidders in a group, a pattern that hasn't been observed in similar experiments in the other countries.

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Paper provided by EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS in its series EERC Working Paper Series with number 98-01e.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eer:wpalle:98-01e
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  1. John W. Payne & Dan J. Laughhunn & Roy Crum, 1981. "Note---Further Tests of Aspiration Level Effects in Risky Choice Behavior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(8), pages 953-958, August.
  2. Segal, Uzi, 1988. "Does the Preference Reversal Phenomenon Necessarily Contradict the Independence Axiom?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 233-36, March.
  3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Davis, Douglas D. & Holt, Charles a., 1993. "Experimental economics: Methods, problems and promise," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 8(2), pages 179-212.
  6. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  7. Grether, David M. & Plott, Charles R., . "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," Working Papers 152, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Holt, Charles A, 1986. "Preference Reversals and the Independence Axiom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 508-15, June.
  9. Safra, Zvi & Segal, Uzi & Spivak, Avia, 1990. "Preference Reversal and Nonexpected Utility Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 923-30, September.
  10. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  11. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  12. Tversky, Amos & Slovic, Paul & Kahneman, Daniel, 1990. "The Causes of Preference Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 204-17, March.
  13. Tversky, Amos & Wakker, Peter, 1995. "Risk Attitudes and Decision Weights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1255-80, November.
  14. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1989. "Preference Reversal: Information-Processing Effect or Rational Non-transitive Choice?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 140-51, Supplemen.
  15. Bohm, Peter & Linden, Johan & Sonnegard, Joakim, 1997. "Eliciting Reservation Prices: Becker-DeGroot-Marschak Mechanisms vs. Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1079-89, July.
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