IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/igi/igierp/576.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Ellsberg re-revisited: An experiment disentangling model uncertainty and risk aversion

Author

Listed:
  • Loic Berger
  • Valentina Bosetti

Abstract

The results of an experiment extending Ellsberg's setup demonstrate that attitudes towards ambiguity and compound uncertainty are closely related. However, this association is much stronger when the second layer of uncertainty is subjective than when it is objective. Provided that the compound probabilities are simple enough, we find that most subjects, consisting of both students and policy makers, (1) reduce compound objective probabilities, (2) do not reduce compound subjective probabilities, and (3) are ambiguity non-neutral. By decomposing ambiguity into risk and model uncertainty, and jointly eliciting the attitudes individuals manifest towards these two types of uncertainty, we characterize individuals' degree of ambiguity aversion. Our data provides evidence of decreasing absolute ambiguity aversion and constant relative ambiguity aversion. Keywords: Ambiguity aversion, model uncertainty, reduction of compound lotteries, nonexpected utility, subjective probabilities, decreasing absolute ambiguity aversion JEL Classification: D81

Suggested Citation

  • Loic Berger & Valentina Bosetti, 2016. "Ellsberg re-revisited: An experiment disentangling model uncertainty and risk aversion," Working Papers 576, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:576
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://ftp.igier.unibocconi.it/wp/2016/576.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gierlinger, Johannes & Gollier, Christian, 2008. "Socially Efficient Discounting under Ambiguity Aversion," IDEI Working Papers 561, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    2. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J Sargent, 2014. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: UNCERTAINTY WITHIN ECONOMIC MODELS, chapter 5, pages 145-154, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Harrison, Glenn W. & Martínez-Correa, Jimmy & Swarthout, J. Todd, 2015. "Reduction of compound lotteries with objective probabilities: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 32-55.
    4. Grant, Simon & Polak, Ben, 2013. "Mean-dispersion preferences and constant absolute uncertainty aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1361-1398.
    5. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2011. "Classical Subjective Expected Utility," Working Papers 400, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. 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, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Itzhak Gilboa & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2012. "Rationality of belief or: why savage's axioms are neither necessary nor sufficient for rationality," Post-Print hal-00745599, HAL.
    9. Cerreia-Vioglio, Simone, 2016. "Objective rationality and uncertainty averse preferences," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), May.
    10. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci, 2015. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 646-677, February.
    11. Berger, Loïc, 2014. "Precautionary saving and the notion of ambiguity prudence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 248-251.
    12. Cerreia-Vioglio, S. & Maccheroni, F. & Marinacci, M. & Montrucchio, L., 2011. "Uncertainty averse preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1275-1330, July.
    13. David S. Ahn, 2008. "Ambiguity Without a State Space," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 3-28.
    14. 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, June.
    15. Atanu Saha, 1993. "Expo-Power Utility: A ‘Flexible’ Form for Absolute and Relative Risk Aversion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(4), pages 905-913.
    16. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: New Data without Order Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 902-912, June.
    17. Robert F. Nau, 2006. "Uncertainty Aversion with Second-Order Utilities and Probabilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 136-145, January.
    18. Loïc Berger & Johannes Emmerling & Massimo Tavoni, 2017. "Managing Catastrophic Climate Risks Under Model Uncertainty Aversion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(3), pages 749-765, March.
    19. 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.
    20. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2008. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-Varying Risk Aversion? Micro-evidence on Individuals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 713-736, June.
    21. Ghirardato, Paolo & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2004. "Differentiating ambiguity and ambiguity attitude," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 133-173, October.
    22. Stephen G. Dimmock & Roy Kouwenberg & Peter P. Wakker, 2016. "Ambiguity Attitudes in a Large Representative Sample," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(5), pages 1363-1380, May.
    23. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    24. Kyoungwon Seo, 2009. "Ambiguity and Second-Order Belief," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1575-1605, September.
    25. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
    26. Ergin, Haluk & Gul, Faruk, 2009. "A theory of subjective compound lotteries," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 899-929, May.
    27. Massimo Marinacci, 2015. "Model Uncertainty," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(6), pages 1022-1100, December.
    28. 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.
    29. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
    30. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1447-1498, November.
    31. Cerreia-Vioglio, Simone & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Montrucchio, Luigi, 2013. "Ambiguity and robust statistics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 974-1049.
      • Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2011. "Ambiguity and Robust Statistics," Working Papers 382, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    32. Guerdjikova, Ani & Sciubba, Emanuela, 2015. "Survival with ambiguity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 50-94.
    33. Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, March.
    34. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    35. Pierre‐André Chiappori & Monica Paiella, 2011. "Relative Risk Aversion Is Constant: Evidence From Panel Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(6), pages 1021-1052, December.
    36. Abdellaoui, Mohammed & Barrios, Carolina & Wakker, Peter P., 2007. "Reconciling introspective utility with revealed preference: Experimental arguments based on prospect theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 356-378, May.
    37. Clare Chua Chow & Rakesh Sarin, 2002. "Known, Unknown, and Unknowable Uncertainties," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 127-138, March.
    38. Lars Peter Hansen, 2014. "Nobel Lecture: Uncertainty Outside and Inside Economic Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(5), pages 945-987.
    39. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Imas, Alex, 2013. "Experimental methods: Eliciting risk preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 43-51.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Peter, Richard, 2019. "Revisiting precautionary saving under ambiguity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 123-127.
    2. Simon Quemin, 2016. "Intertemporal abatement decisions under ambiguity aversion in a cap and trade," Working Papers 1604, Chaire Economie du climat.
    3. Aggarwal, Divya & Damodaran, Uday, 2020. "Ambiguity attitudes and myopic loss aversion: Experimental evidence using carnival games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C).
    4. Peter, Richard & Ying, Jie, 2020. "Do you trust your insurer? Ambiguity about contract nonperformance and optimal insurance demand," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 938-954.
    5. Barnsley, P. & Cubi-Molla, P. & Fischer, A. & Towse, A., 2016. "Uncertainty and Risk in HTA Decision Making," Research Papers 001764, Office of Health Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Berger, Loïc & Bosetti, Valentina, 2020. "Characterizing ambiguity attitudes using model uncertainty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 621-637.
    2. Massimo Marinacci, 2015. "Model Uncertainty," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(6), pages 1022-1100, December.
    3. Ilke Aydogan & Loic Berger & Valentina Bosetti & Ning Liu, 2018. "Three layers of uncertainty: an experiment," Working Papers 623, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. Baillon, Aurélien & Placido, Lætitia, 2019. "Testing constant absolute and relative ambiguity aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 309-332.
    5. Loic Berger & Massimo Marinacci, 2017. "Model Uncertainty in Climate Change Economics," Working Papers 616, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Karni, Edi & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2015. "Ambiguity and Nonexpected Utility," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,, Elsevier.
    7. Patrick Schmidt, 2019. "Elicitation of ambiguous beliefs with mixing bets," Papers 1902.07447, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2019.
    8. Andrew J. Keith & Darryl K. Ahner, 2021. "A survey of decision making and optimization under uncertainty," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 300(2), pages 319-353, May.
    9. Loïc Berger & Massimo Marinacci, 2020. "Model Uncertainty in Climate Change Economics: A Review and Proposed Framework for Future Research," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 77(3), pages 475-501, November.
    10. Peter Klibanoff & Sujoy Mukerji & Kyoungwon Seo, 2014. "Perceived Ambiguity and Relevant Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(5), pages 1945-1978, September.
    11. Ilke Aydogan & Loïc Berger & Valentina Bosetti & Ning Liu, 2020. "Three layers of uncertainty and the role of model misspecification," Working Papers hal-03031751, HAL.
    12. Cerreia-Vioglio, Simone & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Montrucchio, Luigi, 2013. "Ambiguity and robust statistics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 974-1049.
      • Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2011. "Ambiguity and Robust Statistics," Working Papers 382, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    13. Jewitt, Ian & Mukerji, Sujoy, 2017. "Ordering ambiguous acts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 213-267.
    14. Ghirardato, Paolo & Pennesi, Daniele, 2020. "A general theory of subjective mixtures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    15. Simon Quemin, 2016. "Intertemporal abatement decisions under ambiguity aversion in a cap and trade," Working Papers 1604, Chaire Economie du climat.
    16. Christoph Kuzmics & Brian W. Rogers & Xiannong Zhang, 2019. "Is Ellsberg behavior evidence of ambiguity aversion?," Graz Economics Papers 2019-07, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    17. Izhakian, Yehuda, 2017. "Expected utility with uncertain probabilities theory," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 91-103.
    18. Mark Schneider & Manuel Nunez, 2016. "Mean-Dispersion Preferences with a Specific Dispersion Function," Working Papers 16-10, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    19. Arthur E. Attema & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L'Haridon, 2018. "Ambiguity preferences for health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(11), pages 1699-1716, November.
    20. Nunez, Manuel & Schneider, Mark, 2019. "Mean-dispersion preferences with a specific dispersion function," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 195-206.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ambiguity aversion; model uncertainty; reduction of compound lotteries; nonexpected utility; subjective probabilities; decreasing absolute ambiguity aversion jel classification: d81;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:576. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.igier.unibocconi.it/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.igier.unibocconi.it/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.