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Scoring Rules for Subjective Probability Distributions

Author

Listed:
  • Glenn W. Harrison
  • Jimmy Martínez-Correa
  • J. Todd Swarthout
  • Eric R. Ulm

Abstract

The theoretical literature has a rich characterization of scoring rules for eliciting the subjective beliefs that an individual has for continuous events, but under the restrictive assumption of risk neutrality. It is well known that risk aversion can dramatically affect the incentives to correctly report the true subjective probability of a binary event. Alternatively, one must carefully calibrate inferences about true subjective probabilities from elicited subjective probabilities over binary events, recognizing the incentives that risk averse agents have to report the same probability for the two outcomes and reduce the variability of payoffs from the scoring rule. We characterize the comparable implications of the general case of a risk averse agent when facing a popular scoring rule over continuous events, and find that these concerns do not apply with anything like the same force. For empirically plausible levels of risk aversion, one can reliably elicit most important features of the latent subjective belief distribution without undertaking calibration for risk attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn W. Harrison & Jimmy Martínez-Correa & J. Todd Swarthout & Eric R. Ulm, 2012. "Scoring Rules for Subjective Probability Distributions," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-18, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Apr 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:exc:wpaper:2012-18
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    File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2012-18.pdf
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    File URL: http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2013-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karl H. Schlag & Joël J. van der Weele, 2015. "A method to elicit beliefs as most likely intervals," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 10(5), pages 456-468, September.
    2. 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.
    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. 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.
    5. Amalia Di Girolamo & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & J. Todd Swarthout, 2013. "Characterizing Financial and Statistical Literacy," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2013-04, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    6. Jaspersen, Johannes G., 2013. "An incentive compatible scoring rule for ordinal judgments of expected utility maximizers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 245-248.
    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. Vickie Bajtelsmit & Jennifer Coats & Paul Thistle, 2015. "The effect of ambiguity on risk management choices: An experimental study," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 249-280, June.
    9. Adrian Hillenbrand & André Schmelzer, 2015. "Beyond Information: Disclosure, Distracted Attention, and Investor Behavior," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2015_20, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    10. Schüssler, Katharina, 2018. "The Influence of Overconfidence and Competition Neglect On Entry Into Competition," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 87, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

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