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Does the exposure to natural hazards affect risk and time preferences? Some insights from a field experiment in Perú

  • Mohamed Ali Bchir
  • Marc Willinger

We report the results of an experiment on voluntary contributions to a public good in which we implement a redistribution of the group endowment among group members in a lump sum manner. We study the impact of redistribution on group contribution, on individuals’ contribu- tions according to their endowment and on welfare. Our experimental results show that welfare increases when equality is broken, as predicted by theory (Itaya, De Meza & Myles, 1997), because the larger contribution of the rich subjects overcompensates the lower contribution of the poor subjects. Last but not least, agents’ behavior in situations of inequality of income, depends on initial conditions. In particular, the decisions of those who become poor seem to express a form of protest against the new distribution of incomes compared to those who started out as poor: from a behavioral point of view, being poor is therefore not equivalent to becoming poor.

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File URL: http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/Documents/DR2013-04.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Paper provided by LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier in its series Working Papers with number 13-04.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision: Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:13-04
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  1. Eckel, Catherine C. & El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Wilson, Rick K., 2009. "Risk loving after the storm: A Bayesian-Network study of Hurricane Katrina evacuees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 110-124, February.
  2. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," IZA Discussion Papers 2735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Monica Paiella & Luigi Guiso, 2004. "Risk Aversion, Wealth and Background Risk," 2004 Meeting Papers 525, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Charles Towe & Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Naturally occurring preferences and exogenous laboratory experiments: A case study of risk aversion," Framed Field Experiments 00155, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. David Herberich & John List, 2012. "Digging into background risk: Experiments with farmers and students," Framed Field Experiments 00157, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1996. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 158-72, March.
  7. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2002. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1606-1617, December.
  8. Gollier, Christian & Pratt, John W, 1996. "Risk Vulnerability and the Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1109-23, September.
  9. Lisa Cameron & Manisha Shah, 2013. "Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters," NBER Working Papers 19534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jinkwon Lee, 2008. "The effect of the background risk in a simple chance improving decision model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 19-41, February.
  11. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
  12. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
  13. Maarten J. Voors & Eleonora E. M. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin H. Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan P. Van Soest, 2012. "Violent Conflict and Behavior: A Field Experiment in Burundi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 941-64, April.
  14. John Quiggin, 2003. "Background risk in generalized expected utility theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 22(3), pages 607-611, October.
  15. Vital Anderhub & Werner Güth & Uri Gneezy & Doron Sonsino, 2001. "On the Interaction of Risk and Time Preferences: An Experimental Study," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(3), pages 239-253, 08.
  16. repec:feb:framed:0074 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Jeffrey Carpenter & Justin Garcia & J. Lum, 2011. "Dopamine receptor genes predict risk preferences, time preferences, and related economic choices," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 233-261, June.
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