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Eliciting Subjective Probabilities with Binary Lotteries

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

Abstract

We evaluate the binary lottery procedure for inducing risk neutral behavior in a subjective belief elicitation task. Harrison, Martinez-Correa and Swarthout [2013] found that the binary lottery procedure works robustly to induce risk neutrality when subjects are given one risk task defined over objective probabilities. Drawing a sample from the same subject population, we find evidence that the binary lottery procedure induces linear utility in a subjective probability elicitation task using the Quadratic Scoring Rule. We also show that the binary lottery procedure can induce direct revelation of subjective probabilities in subjects with certain Non-Expected Utility preference representations that satisfy weak conditions that we identify.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn W. Harrison & Jimmy Martínez-Correa & J. Todd Swarthout, 2012. "Eliciting Subjective Probabilities with Binary Lotteries," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-16, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised May 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2012-16
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    File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2015-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Rutström, E. Elisabet & Wilcox, Nathaniel T., 2009. "Stated beliefs versus inferred beliefs: A methodological inquiry and experimental test," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 616-632, November.
    3. Steffen Andersen & John Fountain & Glenn Harrison & E. Rutström, 2014. "Estimating subjective probabilities," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 207-229, June.
    4. Grether, David M., 1992. "Testing bayes rule and the representativeness heuristic: Some experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 31-57, January.
    5. Reinhard Selten & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Klaus Abbink, 1999. "Money Does Not Induce Risk Neutral Behavior, but Binary Lotteries Do even Worse," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 213-252, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Di Girolamo, Amalia & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten I. & Swarthout, J. Todd, 2015. "Subjective belief distributions and the characterization of economic literacy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-12.
    2. Cheung, Stephen L. & Johnstone, Lachlan, 2017. "True Overconfidence, Revealed through Actions: An Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 10545, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Harrison, Glenn W. & Martínez-Correa, Jimmy & Swarthout, J. Todd & Ulm, Eric R., 2017. "Scoring rules for subjective probability distributions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 430-448.
    4. Steffen Andersen & John Fountain & Glenn Harrison & E. Rutström, 2014. "Estimating subjective probabilities," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 207-229, June.
    5. Karl Schlag & James Tremewan & Joël Weele, 2015. "A penny for your thoughts: a survey of methods for eliciting beliefs," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 457-490, September.
    6. Armenak Antinyan & Luca Corazzini & Elena D'Agostino & Filippo Pavesi, 2017. "Watch your Words: an Experimental Study on Communication and the Opportunity Cost of Delegation," Working Papers 18/2017, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    7. Harrison, Glenn W. & Martínez-Correa, Jimmy & Swarthout, J. Todd & Ulm, Eric R., 2015. "Eliciting subjective probability distributions with binary lotteries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 68-71.
    8. repec:exc:wpaper:2013-05 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Linda Babcock & Maria P. Recalde & Lise Vesterlund & Laurie Weingart, 2017. "Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 714-747, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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