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A Test of Narrow Framing and its Origin

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  • Luigi Guiso

    (European University Institute, EIEF and CEPR)

Abstract

I provide a test of narrow framing to explain why individuals turn down small positive expected value lotteries. Participants in a large survey have been asked whether they would accept a small lottery of winning 180 euros with probability of 1/2 or losing 100 euros with the same probability. To half of the sample, randomly selected, the lottery question was asked at the beginning of the interview; the other half made the decision immediately after they were asked to think about and report their subjec- tive probability distribution of future earnings. Consistent with narrow framing, I find that individuals that were induced to bring their earnings risk to mind before facing the decision are significantly less likely to turn it down. Furthemore, only those who actually say they are uncertain about their incomes are less likely to reject the lottery. I show that attitudes towards regret and reliance on intuition rather than reasoning are likely to drive the tendency to frame choices narrowly.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Guiso, 2008. "A Test of Narrow Framing and its Origin," EIEF Working Papers Series 0818, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Dec 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:0818
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. van der Heijden, Eline & Klein, Tobias J. & Müller, Wieland & Potters, Jan, 2012. "Framing effects and impatience: Evidence from a large scale experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 701-711.
    2. In Do Hwang, 2017. "Behavioral Aspects of Household Portfolio Choice: Effects of Loss Aversion on Life Insurance Uptake and Savings," Working Papers 2017-8, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.

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    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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