IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The role of intuition and reasoning in driving aversion to risk and ambiguity

Listed author(s):
  • Jeffrey V. Butler
  • Luigi Guiso
  • Tullio Jappelli

Using information on a large sample of retail investors and experimental data we find that risk aversion and risk ambiguity are correlated: individuals who dislike risk also dislike ambiguity. We show that what links these traits is the way people handle decisions. Intuitive thinkers are less averse to risk and less averse to ambiguity than individuals who base their decisions on effortful reasoning. We confirm this finding in a series of experiments. One interpretation of our results is that the high-speed of intuitive thinking puts intuitive thinkers at a comparative advantage in situations involving high risk and ambiguity, making them less averse to both. Consistent with this view we show evidence from the field and from the lab that intuitive thinkers perform better than deliberative thinkers when making decisions in highly ambiguous and risky environments. We also find that attitudes toward risk and ambiguity are related to different individual characteristics and wealth. While the wealthy are less averse to risk, they dislike ambiguity more, a finding that has implications for financial puzzles.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/17195/ECO_2011_13.pdf?sequence=1
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2011/13.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2011
Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2011/13
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Badia Fiesolana, Via dei Roccettini, 9, 50014 San Domenico di Fiesole (FI) Italy

Phone: +39-055-4685.982
Fax: +39-055-4685.902
Web page: http://www.eui.eu/ECO/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Chakravarty Sujoy & Roy Jaideep, "undated". "Risk, Ambiguity - Gains, Losses," IIMA Working Papers WP2006-02-06, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
  2. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," IZA Discussion Papers 2735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Zengjing Chen & Larry G. Epstein, 2000. "Ambiguity, risk and asset returns in continuous time," RCER Working Papers 474, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Fernando Alvarez & Luigi Guiso & Francesco Lippi, 2010. "Durable Consumption and Asset Management with Transaction and Observation Costs," EIEF Working Papers Series 1001, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jan 2010.
  5. David Ahn & Syngjoo Choi & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2014. "Estimating ambiguity aversion in a portfolio choice experiment," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 195-223, 07.
  6. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2002. "A smooth model of decision making under ambiguity," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 11-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research, revised Apr 2003.
  7. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2009. "Financial Literacy and Portfolio Diversification," CSEF Working Papers 212, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  8. Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, 03.
  9. Hans-Martin von Gaudecker & Arthur van Soest & Erik Wengstrom, 2011. "Heterogeneity in Risky Choice Behavior in a Broad Population," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 664-694, April.
  10. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00502820 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Jeffrey V. Butler & Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2013. "Manipulating Reliance on Intuition Reduces Risk and Ambiguity Aversion," CSEF Working Papers 327, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  12. 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.
  13. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2003. "Risk Aversion, Wealth and Background Risk," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 483, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  14. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2005. "Trusting the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 11648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, 06.
  16. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert, 2009. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  17. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, 05.
  18. Michèle Cohen & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2011. "An experimental investigation of imprecision attitude and its relation with risk attitude and impatience," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 81-109, July.
  19. Ariel Rubinstein, 2006. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: A Study of Response Times," Working Papers 2006.36, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  20. Syngjoo Choi & Raymond Fisman & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2007. "Consistency, Heterogeneity, and Granularity of Individual Behavior under Uncertainty," Economics Working Papers 0076, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  21. Sujoy Chakravarty & Jaideep Roy, 2009. "Recursive expected utility and the separation of attitudes towards risk and ambiguity: an experimental study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 66(3), pages 199-228, March.
  22. Donkers, A.C.D. & Melenberg, B. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1999. "Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries; A Large Sample Approach," Discussion Paper 1999-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  23. Peter Bossaerts & Paolo Ghirardato & Serena Guarnaschelli & William R. Zame, 2006. "Ambiguity in Asset Markets: Theory and Experiment," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 27, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2009.
  24. Matilde Bombardini & Francesco Trebbi, 2012. "Risk Aversion And Expected Utility Theory: An Experiment With Large And Small Stakes," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1348-1399, December.
  25. Steffen Andersen & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Rutström, 2006. "Elicitation using multiple price list formats," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(4), pages 383-405, December.
  26. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  27. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2010. "Ambiguity and Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 16181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  29. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  30. Dow, James & Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro da Costa, 1992. "Uncertainty Aversion, Risk Aversion, and the Optimal Choice of Portfolio," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 197-204, January.
  31. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  32. Ghirardato, Paolo & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2004. "Differentiating ambiguity and ambiguity attitude," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 133-173, October.
  33. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
  34. Ariel Rubinstein, 2007. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: Response Times Study," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000001011, UCLA Department of Economics.
  35. Harrison, Glenn W, 1992. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1426-1443, December.
  36. Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet Rutstrom & Melonie Williams, 2006. "Eliciting risk and time preferences using field experiments: Some methodological issues," Artefactual Field Experiments 00063, The Field Experiments Website.
  37. Syngjoo Choi & Raymond Fisman & Douglas Gale & Shachar Kariv, 2007. "Consistency and Heterogeneity of Individual Behavior under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1921-1938, December.
  38. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2011/13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Banks)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.