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Are You Risk Averse Over Other People’s Money?

Author

Listed:
  • Chakravarty Sujoy
  • Harrison Glenn W
  • Haruvy Ernan E
  • Rutstrom Elisabet E

Abstract

Abstract. Decisions with uncertain outcomes are often made by one party in settingswhere another party bears the consequences. Whenever an agent is delegated tomake decisions that affect others, such as in the typical corporate structure, does theagent make decisions that reflect the risk preferences of the principal? We examinethis question in the simplest possible setting using controlled laboratory experiments.We find a remarkable result: when an individual makes a decision for an anonymousstranger, he tends to exhibit less risk aversion. This reduction is relative to his ownpreferences, and also relative to his belief about the other’s preferences. This resulthas significant implications for the design of contracts between principals and agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Chakravarty Sujoy & Harrison Glenn W & Haruvy Ernan E & Rutstrom Elisabet E, 2005. "Are You Risk Averse Over Other People’s Money?," IIMA Working Papers WP2005-08-04, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:iim:iimawp:wp01895
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Allan Timmermann, 2000. "Firm Size and Cyclical Variations in Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1229-1262, June.
    2. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", pages 112-134.
    3. Opler, Tim & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, Rene & Williamson, Rohan, 1999. "The determinants and implications of corporate cash holdings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-46, April.
    4. Carolyn Y. Woo, 1984. "An Empirical Test of Value-Based Planning Models and Implications," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1031-1050, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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