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On the Stability of Risk Preferences: Measurement Matters

Author

Listed:
  • Adema, Joop

    (University of Munich)

  • Nikolka, Till

    (German Youth Institute (DJI))

  • Poutvaara, Panu

    (University of Munich)

  • Sunde, Uwe

    (University of Munich)

Abstract

We exploit the unique design of a repeated survey experiment among students in four countries to explore the stability of risk preferences in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Relative to a baseline before the pandemic, we find that self-assessed willingness to take risks decreased while the willingness to take risks in an incentivized lottery task increased, for the same sample of respondents. These findings suggest domain specificity of preferences that is partly reflected in the different measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Adema, Joop & Nikolka, Till & Poutvaara, Panu & Sunde, Uwe, 2021. "On the Stability of Risk Preferences: Measurement Matters," IZA Discussion Papers 14755, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14755
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
    2. Pamela Jakiela & Owen Ozier, 2019. "The Impact of Violence on Individual Risk Preferences: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 547-559, July.
    3. Dohmen, Thomas & Lehmann, Hartmut & Pignatti, Norberto, 2016. "Time-varying individual risk attitudes over the Great Recession: A comparison of Germany and Ukraine," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 182-200.
    4. Cassar, Alessandra & Healy, Andrew & von Kessler, Carl, 2017. "Trust, Risk, and Time Preferences After a Natural Disaster: Experimental Evidence from Thailand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 90-105.
    5. Jason Shachat & Matthew J. Walker & Lijia Wei, 2021. "The Impact of an Epidemic: Experimental Evidence on Preference Stability from Wuhan," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 111, pages 302-306, May.
    6. Armin Falk & Anke Becker & Thomas Dohmen & Benjamin Enke & David B. Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2017. "Global Evidence on Economic Preferences," NBER Working Papers 23943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Armin Falk & Anke Becker & Thomas Dohmen & Benjamin Enke & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2018. "Global Evidence on Economic Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(4), pages 1645-1692.
    8. Decker, Simon & Schmitz, Hendrik, 2016. "Health shocks and risk aversion," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 156-170.
    9. Frondel, Manuel & Osberghaus, Daniel & Sommer, Stephan, 2021. "Corona and the stability of personal traits and preferences: Evidence from Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 903, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Chie Hanaoka & Hitoshi Shigeoka & Yasutora Watanabe, 2018. "Do Risk Preferences Change? Evidence from the Great East Japan Earthquake," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 298-330, April.
    11. Angrisani, Marco & Cipriani, Marco & Guarino, Antonio & Kendall, Ryan & Ortiz de Zarate Pina, Julen, 2020. "Risk Preferences at the Time of COVID-19: An Experiment with Professional Traders and Students," CEPR Discussion Papers 15108, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch, 2018. "Are Risk Preferences Stable?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 135-154, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thilo K.G. Haverkamp & Heinz Welsch & Andreas Ziegler, 2022. "The Relationship between Pro-environmental Behavior, Economic Preferences, and Life Satisfaction: Empirical Evidence from Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202204, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Blayac, Thierry & Dubois, Dimitri & Duchêne, Sébastien & Nguyen-Van, Phu & Ventelou, Bruno & Willinger, Marc, 2022. "What drives the acceptability of restrictive health policies: An experimental assessment of individual preferences for anti-COVID 19 strategies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    stability of risk preferences; measurement of risk aversion; COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G50 - Financial Economics - - Household Finance - - - General

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