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Individual and Couple Decision Behavior under Risk: The Power of Ultimate Control

  • André de Palma
  • Nathalie Picard
  • Anthony Ziegelmeyer


This paper reports results of an experiment designed to analyze the link between risky decisions made by couples and risky decisions made separately by each spouse. We estimate both the spouses and the couples’ degrees of risk aversion and we assess how the risk preferences of the two spouses aggregate when they make risky decisions. This enables us to investigate the decision process that takes place when couples make risky decisions. We find that in most couples men have more decision-making power than women and that women’s decision-making power increases when they ultimately implement the joint decisions.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2006-22.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2006-22
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  1. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2004. "Saving, Risk Sharing, and Preferences for Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1169-1182, September.
  3. Steffen Andersen & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Rutström, 2006. "Elicitation using multiple price list formats," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 383-405, December.
  4. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  5. Frederic Vermeulen, 2000. "Collective household models: principles and main results," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0028, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  6. Michael Lechner, 2005. "The Empirical Analysis of East German Fertility after," Labor and Demography 0505005, EconWPA.
  7. Olivier Donni, 2001. "Collective Household Labor Supply: Nonparticipation and Income Taxation," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 140, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  8. 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.
  9. Alistair Munro & Ian Bateman, 2004. "An Experiment On Risky Choice Amongst Households," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 77, Royal Economic Society.
  10. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  11. Thomas Baumann & Carsten Schmidt, 2004. "The Jena video laboratory for economic experiments," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-06, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  12. Steffen Anderson & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & Rutstrom Elisabet, 2007. "Valuation using multiple price list formats," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 675-682.
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