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The St. Petersburg Paradox despite risk-seeking preferences: An experimental study

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  • Eike B. Kroll

    () (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)

  • Bodo Vogt

    () (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)

Abstract

The St. Petersburg is one of the oldest violations of expected utility theory. Thus far, explanations of the paradox aim at small probabili- ties being perceived as zero and the boundedness of utility. This paper provides experimental results showing that neither risk attitudes nor perception of small probabilities explain the paradox. We nd that even in situations where subjects are risk-seeking, the St. Petersburg Paradox exists. This indicates that the paradox lies at the very core of human decision-making processes and cannot be explained by the parameters discussed in previous research so far.

Suggested Citation

  • Eike B. Kroll & Bodo Vogt, 2009. "The St. Petersburg Paradox despite risk-seeking preferences: An experimental study," FEMM Working Papers 09004, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:mag:wpaper:09004
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    File URL: http://www.ww.uni-magdeburg.de/fwwdeka/femm/a2009_Dateien/2009_04.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brito, D. L., 1975. "Becker's theory of the allocation of time and the St. Petersburg Paradox," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 123-126, February.
    2. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj & Bodo Vogt, 2009. "On the empirical relevance of st. petersburg lotteries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(1), pages 214-220.
    3. Shapley, Lloyd S., 1977. "The St. Petersburg paradox: A con games?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 439-442, April.
    4. Henry S. Farber, 2008. "Reference-Dependent Preferences and Labor Supply: The Case of New York City Taxi Drivers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1069-1082, June.
    5. Grether, David M & Plott, Charles R, 1979. "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 623-638, September.
    6. Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "St. Petersburg Paradoxes: Defanged, Dissected, and Historically Described," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 24-55, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Eike B. Kroll & Bodo Vogt, 2008. "Loss Aversion for time: An experimental investigation of time preferences," FEMM Working Papers 08027, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    9. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj & Bodo Vogt & Utteeyo Dasgupta, 2007. "Is There A Plausible Theory for Risky Decisions?," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2007-05, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Jul 2010.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Tibor Neugebauer & Stefan Traub, 2012. "Public good and private good valuation for waiting time reduction: a laboratory study," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, pages 35-57.
    2. Tibor Neugebauer, 2010. "Moral Impossibility in the Petersburg Paradox : A Literature Survey and Experimental Evidence," LSF Research Working Paper Series 10-14, Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg.
    3. Ruggero Paladini, 2017. "Il paradosso di S. Pietroburgo, una rassegna," Public Finance Research Papers 29, Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DIGEF, Sapienza University of Rome.
    4. Kroll, Eike B. & Morgenstern, Ralf & Neumann, Thomas & Schosser, Stephan & Vogt, Bodo, 2014. "Bargaining power does not matter when sharing losses – Experimental evidence of equal split in the Nash bargaining game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 261-272.

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