The Perception of Lethal Risks: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment
We run a novel experiment to explore the relationship between the perception of real-life risks and the demand for risk reduction. Subjects play a series of loss lotteries in which the odds are matched to the likelihood of lethal events in real life. For each risk, subjects can pay premiums in order to reduce the likelihood of total bankruptcy. Our results show a complex interplay of mortality perception and demand for risk reduction. We observe that perceived annual mortality positively affects the demand for risk reduction. Moreover, we find certain risk characteristics to affect perceived mortality, others to drive the demand for risk reduction, and some to alter both. Our findings suggest that 30 percent of all insurance payments are due to biased perceptions of annual mortality while perfect precaution could lower payments by 45 percent. Implications for risk management policies are discussed.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2014|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sunstein, Cass R, 1997. "Bad Deaths," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 259-282, May-June.
- Benjamin, Daniel K & Dougan, William R, 1997. "Individuals' Estimates of the Risks of Death: Part I--A Reassessment of the Previous Evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 115-133, November.
- Olivier Chanel & Graciela Chichilnisky, 2009. "The influence of fear in decisions: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 271-298, December.
- Susan Chilton & Michael Jones-Lee & Francis Kiraly & Hugh Metcalf & Wei Pang, 2006. "Dread risks," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 165-182, December.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
- Johnson, Eric J & Hershey, John & Meszaros, Jacqueline & Kunreuther, Howard, 1993. "Framing, Probability Distortions, and Insurance Decisions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 35-51, August.
- Jenni, Karen E & Loewenstein, George, 1997. "Explaining the "Identifiable Victim Effect."," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 235-257, May-June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8578. 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)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.