Getting Used to Risks: Reference Dependence and Risk Inclusion
Experimental and field evidence show that people perceive and evaluate new risks differently from risks that are common. In particular, people get used to the presence of certain risks and become less eager to avoid them. We explain this observation by including risks in the reference states of individuals, which requires a more general concept of the reference state than has previously been considered in the literature. We find two effects. First, the inclusion of the risk in the reference state changes its evaluation. A risk being present on the market induces a self-enforcing process of increasing acceptance of this risk without any new information becoming available or people's tastes changing. We term this the risk inclusion effect. Second, a risk with lower inherent (reference-independent) utility may be preferred to a risk with higher inherent utility if individuals are more used to accepting the former than the latter. This leads to ineffcient decisions if habituation is seen as contributing less to welfare than inherent utility. Both effects have implications for the optimal regulation of risks.
|Date of creation:||May 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004.
"A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Gomes, Francisco J & Michaelides, Alexander, 2003.
"Portfolio Choice with Internal Habit Formation: A Life-Cycle Model with Uninsurable Labour Income Risk,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2003. "Portfolio Choice With Internal Habit Formation: A Life-Cycle Model With Uninsurable Labor Income Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 729-766, October.
- SHALEV, Jonathan, 1997.
"Loss aversion equilibrium,"
CORE Discussion Papers
1997023, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Valery Polkovnichenko, 2007. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice with Additive Habit Formation Preferences and Uninsurable Labor Income Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(1), pages 83-124, January.
- Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-63, Part I Ju.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
- Knetsch, Jack L & Sinden, J A, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-21, August.
- Friedrich Breyer & Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Risk Attitudes in Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 0875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John List, 2004.
"Neoclassical theory versus prospect theory: Evidence from the marketplace,"
Framed Field Experiments
00174, The Field Experiments Website.
- John A. List, 2004. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 615-625, 03.
- John A. List, 2003. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," NBER Working Papers 9736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Loomes, Graham & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2002.
"Do Anomalies Disappear in Repeated Markets?,"
Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002
132, Royal Economic Society.
- Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999.
"By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior,"
3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Hadjikhani, Amjad, 1998. "Consumer behavior and the media : a loosely coupled network," Working Papers 1998:1, Uppsala University, Department of Business Studies.
- Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Reference-dependent subjective expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 172-191, August.
- Sundaresan, Suresh M, 1989. "Intertemporally Dependent Preferences and the Volatility of Consumption and Wealth," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 73-89.
- George Wu & Richard Gonzalez, 1999. "Nonlinear Decision Weights in Choice Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(1), pages 74-85, January.
- Paul R. Portney, 1992. "Trouble in happyville," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 131-132.
- Munro, Alistair & Sugden, Robert, 2003. "On the theory of reference-dependent preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 407-428, April.
- 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.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1987. "An Investigation of the Rationality of Consumer Valuations of Multiple Health Risks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(4), pages 465-479, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2005-036. 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: (RDC-Team)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.