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Incentive Effects on Risk Attitude in Small Probability Prospects

  • Lefèbvre, Mathieu

    ()

    (Université de Strasbourg)

  • Vieider, Ferdinand M.

    ()

    (CNRS, GATE)

  • Villeval, Marie Claire

    ()

    (CNRS, GATE)

Most studies on the role of incentives on risk attitude report data obtained from within-subject experimental investigations. This may however raise an issue of sequentiality of effects as later choices may be influenced by earlier ones. This paper reports instead between-subject results on the effect of monetary stakes on risk attitudes for small probability prospects in a laboratory experiment. Under low stakes, we find the typical risk seeking behavior for small probabilities predicted by the prospect theory. But under high stakes, we provide some evidence that risk seeking behavior is dramatically reduced. This could suggest that utility is not consistently concave over the outcome space, but rather contains a convex section for very small amounts.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4545.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics Letters, 2010, 109 (2), 115-120
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4545
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  1. Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1991. "Decision Making Over Time and Under Uncertainty: A Common Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(7), pages 770-786, July.
  2. Mathieu Lefebvre & Ferdinand Vieider & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2009. "The Ratio Bias Phenomenon : Fact or Artifact ?," Working Papers 0925, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  3. Kachelmeier, Steven J & Shehata, Mohamed, 1992. "Examining Risk Preferences under High Monetary Incentives: Experimental Evidence from the People's Republic of China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1120-41, December.
  4. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
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  8. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
  9. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Olivier L’Haridon, 2008. "A tractable method to measure utility and loss aversion under prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 245-266, June.
  10. Martin G. Kocher & Peter Martinsson & Martine Visser, 2006. "Does Stake Size matter for Cooperation and Punishment?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-104/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Kuhberger, Anton & Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Michael & Perner, Josef, 2002. "Framing decisions: Hypothetical and real," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 1162-1175, November.
  12. Han Bleichrodt & Jose Luis Pinto, 2000. "A Parameter-Free Elicitation of the Probability Weighting Function in Medical Decision Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1485-1496, November.
  13. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Mahmud, Minhaj & Martinsson, Peter, 2005. "Does stake size matter in trust games?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 365-369, September.
  14. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. 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.
  16. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "The Utility of Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 151.
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