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Attitudes toward Uncertainty among the Poor: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia

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  • Akay, Alpaslan

    () (University of Gothenburg)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    () (University of Gothenburg)

  • Medhin, Haileselassie

    () (University of Gothenburg)

  • Trautmann, Stefan T.

    () (Tilburg University)

Abstract

We looked at risk and ambiguity attitudes among Ethiopian peasants in one of the poorest regions of the world and compared their attitudes to a standard Western university student sample elicited by the same decision task. Strong risk aversion and ambiguity aversion were found with the Ethiopian peasants. Ambiguity aversion was similar for peasants and students, but peasants were more risk averse. Testing for the effect of socio-economic variables on uncertainty attitudes showed that poor health increased both risk and ambiguity aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "Attitudes toward Uncertainty among the Poor: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 4225, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4225
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    Cited by:

    1. Barham, Bradford L. & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Fitz, Dylan & Salas, Vanessa Ríos & Schechter, Laura, 2014. "The roles of risk and ambiguity in technology adoption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 204-218.
    2. Choudhury, Hari K. & Goswami, Kishor, 2014. "Do Different Approaches to Measurement of Risk Behaviour Yield Different Results?," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 27(1).
    3. Gary Charness & Edi Karni & Dan Levin, 2013. "Ambiguity attitudes and social interactions: An experimental investigation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 1-25, February.
    4. Schröder, David & Cavatorta, Elisa, 2014. "Measuring Ambiguity Preferences," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100593, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00429573 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ross, Nicholas & Santos, Paulo & Capon, Timothy, 2012. "Risk, ambiguity and the adoption of new technologies: experimental evidence from a developing economy," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126492, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Chmura, Thorsten & Martinsson, Peter, 2012. "Risk attitudes, development, and growth: Macroeconomic evidence from experiments in 30 countries," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2012-401, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    8. Oechssler, Jörg & Roomets, Alex, 2015. "A test of mechanical ambiguity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 153-162.
    9. Bergheim, Ralf & Roos, Michael W. M., 2013. "Intuition and Reasoning in Choosing Ambiguous and Risky Lotteries," Ruhr Economic Papers 440, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Choudhury, Hari K. & Goswami, Kishor, 2013. "Determinants of expansion of area under jatropha plantation in North East India: A Tobit analysis," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 46-52.
    11. Dean Spears, 2013. "Poverty and probability: aspiration and aversion to compound lotteries in El Salvador and India," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 263-284, September.
    12. Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Truong, Nghi & Martinsson, Peter & Pham Khanh Nam & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Risk preferences and development revisited: A field experiment in Vietnam," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2013-403, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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    Keywords

    cultural differences; risk attitudes; ambiguity attitudes; poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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