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

Reduction of Compound Lotteries with Objective Probabilities: Theory and Evidence

  • Glenn W. Harrison
  • Jimmy Martínez-Correa
  • J. Todd Swarthout

The reduction of compound lotteries (ROCL) has assumed a central role in the evaluation of behavior towards risk and uncertainty. We present experimental evidence on its validity in the domain of objective probabilities. Our experiment explicitly recognizes the impact that the random lottery incentive mechanism payment procedure may have on preferences, and so we collect data using both "1-in-1" and "1-in-K" payment procedures, where K>1. We do not find violations of ROCL when subjects are presented with only one choice that is played for money. However, when individuals are presented with many choices and random lottery incentive mechanism is used to select one choice for payoff, we do find violations of ROCL. These results are supported by both non-parametric analysis of choice patterns, as well as structural estimation of latent preferences. We find evidence that the model that best describes behavior when subjects make only one choice is the Rank-Dependent Utility model. When subjects face many choices, their behavior is better characterized by our source-dependent version of the Rank-Dependent Utility model which can account for violations of ROCL. We conclude that payment protocols can create distortions in experimental tests of basic axioms of decision theory.

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://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2012-04.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2015-04.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2015
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series with number 2012-04.

as
in new window

Length: 100
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision: Jul 2015
Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2012-04
Contact details of provider: Postal:
(404) 651-3990

Phone: (404) 651-3990
Fax: (404) 651-3996
Web page: http://excen.gsu.edu/

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. Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, 03.
  2. 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.
  3. Uzi Segal, 1989. "Two-Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom," UCLA Economics Working Papers 552, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. EECKHOUDT, Louis & Christian GOLLIER & Harris SCHLESINGER, 1994. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk Taking Behavior," Working Papers 005, Risk and Insurance Archive.
  5. David Dillenberger, 2010. "Preferences for One‐Shot Resolution of Uncertainty and Allais‐Type Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1973-2004, November.
  6. 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.
  7. Kaivanto, Kim & Kroll, Eike Benjamin, 2011. "Negative recency, randomization device choice, and reduction of compound lotteries," Working Paper Series in Economics 22, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
  8. John Quiggin, 2003. "Background risk in generalized expected utility theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 22(3), pages 607-611, October.
  9. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj & Ulrich Schmidt, 2011. "Paradoxes and Mechanisms for Choice under Risk," Kiel Working Papers 1712, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  10. 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.
  11. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
  12. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
  13. Uzi Segal, 1985. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," UCLA Economics Working Papers 362, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Gollier, Christian & Pratt, John W, 1996. "Risk Vulnerability and the Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1109-23, September.
  15. Glenn Harrison & J. Swarthout, 2014. "Experimental payment protocols and the Bipolar Behaviorist," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 423-438, October.
  16. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
  17. Glenn Harrison & John List & Charles Towe, 2004. "Naturally occurring preferences and exogenous laboratory experiments: A case study of risk aversion," Framed Field Experiments 00155, The Field Experiments Website.
  18. Harless, David W., 1992. "Predictions about indifference curves inside the unit triangle : A test of variants of expected utility theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 391-414, August.
  19. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1998. "Testing Different Stochastic Specifications of Risky Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 581-98, November.
  20. Vernon L. Smith, 1969. "Measuring Nonmonetary Utilities in Uncertain Choices: The Ellsberg Urn," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 324-329.
  21. Robin Cubitt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 1998. "On the Validity of the Random Lottery Incentive System," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(2), pages 115-131, September.
  22. Beattie, Jane & Loomes, Graham, 1997. "The Impact of Incentives upon Risky Choice Experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 155-68, March.
  23. repec:feb:framed:0074 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. 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.
  25. repec:hal:journl:hal-00609214 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  27. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Does the Random-Lottery Incentive System Elicit True Preferences? An Experimental Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 971-78, September.
  28. Conlisk, John, 1989. "Three Variants on the Allais Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 392-407, June.
  29. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  30. Holt, Charles A, 1986. "Preference Reversals and the Independence Axiom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 508-15, June.
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:exc:wpaper:2012-04. 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: (J. Todd Swarthout)

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.