IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp4170.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Biased Probability Judgment: Evidence of Incidence and Relationship to Economic Outcomes from a Representative Sample

Author

Listed:
  • Dohmen, Thomas

    () (University of Bonn and IZA)

  • Falk, Armin

    () (briq, University of Bonn)

  • Huffman, David B.

    () (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Marklein, Felix

    () (Federal Ministry of Finance)

  • Sunde, Uwe

    () (University of Munich)

Abstract

Many economic decisions involve a substantial amount of uncertainty, and therefore crucially depend on how individuals process probabilistic information. In this paper, we investigate the capability for probability judgment in a representative sample of the German population. Our results show that almost a third of the respondents exhibits systematically biased perceptions of probability. The findings also indicate that the observed biases are related to individual economic outcomes, which suggests potential policy relevance of our findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Marklein, Felix & Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "Biased Probability Judgment: Evidence of Incidence and Relationship to Economic Outcomes from a Representative Sample," IZA Discussion Papers 4170, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4170
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4170.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frieder Lang & David Weiss & Andreas Stocker & Bernhard von Rosenbladt, 2007. "Assessing Cognitive Capacities in Computer-Assisted Survey Research: Two Ultra-Short Tests of Intellectual Ability in the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 183-192.
    2. Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Do I Have What It Takes? Equilibrium Search with Type Uncertainty and Non-Participation," IZA Discussion Papers 2531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Rachel Croson & James Sundali, 2005. "The Gambler’s Fallacy and the Hot Hand: Empirical Data from Casinos," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 195-209, May.
    4. Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2009. "Cognitive abilities and behavioral biases," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 147-152, October.
    5. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 413-417, May.
    6. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
    7. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
    8. Robin Hogarth, 2005. "The challenge of representative design in psychology and economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 253-263.
    9. Terrell, Dek, 1994. "A Test of the Gambler's Fallacy: Evidence from Pari-mutuel Games," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 309-317, May.
    10. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2005. "Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers," NBER Working Papers 11518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. David M. Grether, 1980. "Bayes Rule as a Descriptive Model: The Representativeness Heuristic," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 537-557.
    12. Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Inference by Believers in the Law of Small Numbers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 775-816.
    13. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2005. "When Optimal Choices Feel Wrong: A Laboratory Study of Bayesian Updating, Complexity, and Affect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1300-1309, September.
    14. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir, 2004. "A Behavioral-Economics View of Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 419-423, May.
    15. Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Self-Confidence and Search," IZA Discussion Papers 2525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
    17. John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
    18. Victor Stango & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Exponential Growth Bias and Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(6), pages 2807-2849, December.
    19. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    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. Bjornskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina AV & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2009. "On the relation between income inequality and happiness: Do fairness perceptions matter?," MPRA Paper 19494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Steffen Altmann & Armin Falk & Simon Jäger & Florian Zimmermann, 2015. "Learning about Job Search: A Field Experiment with Job Seekers in Germany," Working Paper 254671, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    3. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V. & Schnellenbach, Jan & Gehring, Kai, 2013. "Inequality and happiness: When perceived social mobility and economic reality do not match," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 75-92.
    4. Victor Stango & Joanne Yoong & Jonathan Zinman, 2017. "Quicksand or Bedrock for Behavioral Economics? Assessing Foundational Empirical Questions," NBER Working Papers 23625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:35-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kuhn, Andreas, 2015. "The Individual Perception of Wage Inequality: A Measurement Framework and Some Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 9579, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.
    8. Albrecht, Konstanze & von Essen, Emma & Parys, Juliane & Szech, Nora, 2013. "Updating, self-confidence, and discrimination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 144-169.
    9. Keldenich, Klemens & Klemm, Marcus, 2011. "Double or Nothing!? Small Groups Making Decisions Under Risk in ""Quiz Taxi""," Ruhr Economic Papers 278, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Pia Pinger & Sebastian Schäfer & Heiner Schumacher, 2018. "Locus of Control and Consistent Investment Choices," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_015_2018, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    11. Victor Stango & Joanne Yoong & Jonathan Zinman, 2017. "The Quest for Parsimony in Behavioral Economics: New Methods and Evidence on Three Fronts," NBER Working Papers 23057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Falk, Armin & Zimmermann, Florian, 2011. "Preferences for Consistency," CEPR Discussion Papers 8519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Stöckl, Thomas & Huber, Jürgen & Kirchler, Michael & Lindner, Florian, 2015. "Hot hand and gambler's fallacy in teams: Evidence from investment experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 327-339.
    14. repec:got:cegedp:91 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:zbw:rwirep:0278 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Suetens, Sigrid & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "The gambler's fallacy and gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 118-124.
    17. Joshua B. Miller & Adam Sanjurjo, 2014. "A Cold Shower for the Hot Hand Fallacy," Working Papers 518, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    18. Luisa Menapace & Gregory Colson & Roberta Raffaelli, 2016. "A comparison of hypothetical risk attitude elicitation instruments for explaining farmer crop insurance purchases," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 113-135.
    19. Pinger, Pia & Schäfer, Sebastian & Schumacher, Heiner, 2018. "Locus of Control and Consistent Investment Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 11537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2014. "Double or nothing?! Small groups making decisions under risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 243-274, August.
    21. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2011. "Double or Nothing!? Small Groups Making Decisions Under Risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Ruhr Economic Papers 0278, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    long-term unemployment; hot hand fallacy; representative design; gambler's fallacy; probability judgment; bounded rationality; financial decision making;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

    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:iza:izadps:dp4170. 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: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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 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.

    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.