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Peer effects and risk-taking among entrepreneurs: Lab-in-the-field evidence

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  • Maria Adelaida Lopera
  • Steeve Marchand

Abstract

We study how social interactions influence entrepreneurs' attitudes toward risk. We conduct two risk-taking experiments within workshops organized for young Ugandan entrepreneurs. Between the two experiments, the entrepreneurs participate in a networking activity where they build relationships and discuss with each other. We collect detailed data on peer network formation and on participants' choices before and after the networking activity. Our design implicitly controls for homophily effects (i.e. the tendency of individuals to develop relationships with people who have similar characteristics). We find that risk aversion is affected by social conformity. Participants tend to become more (less) risk averse in the second experiment if the peers they discuss with are on average more (less) risk averse in the first experiment. This suggests that social interactions play a role in shaping risk preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Adelaida Lopera & Steeve Marchand, 2017. "Peer effects and risk-taking among entrepreneurs: Lab-in-the-field evidence," Working Papers PIERI 2017-21, PEP-PIERI.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:piercr:2017-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preference; Risk aversion; Entrepreneur; Social norms;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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